Portuguese football club Benfica has announced its first foray into the esports industry.
The club will participate in the FIFA 20 Global Series, having signed Brazilian player Henrique “Zezhino” Lempke as its first esports representative.
Lempke will travel to Portugal in early February, where fans will be able to meet the club’s first signing at the club’s stadium, Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Miguel Bento, Commercial and Marketing Director of Benfica discussed the venture in a release: “Innovation is part of our DNA. Sport Lisboa e Benfica could not be indifferent to the growth of this virtual industry, and specifically esports. This is a first step in a bet for the future that will allow a greater involvement of our young fans in an activity that generates much passion and interest.”
Benfica will kick off in esports for the very first time in the FIFA 20 Global Series Qualifiers, taking place in Atlanta, Georgia on January 16th. As per a release, the club is expected to sign more players in the “near future,” though whether that’s in FIFA or another title is yet to be known.
Lempke commented on his new club: “I’m very happy to represent the biggest club in Portugal and one of the biggest in Europe. I can’t wait to wear the colours of Benfica and I’ll do my best to win even more trophies for the club!”
Esports Insider says: The emergence of football clubs getting involved in esports is nothing new, especially with FIFA and PES having fleshed out scenes for quite some time now. Benfica entering the industry could be a lucrative venture if it has spent the appropriate amount of time to understand the scene and how to navigate it organically.