Last week, Spanish esports organisation Rebels Gaming announced professional footballers Juan Mata and Bruno Fernandes as shareholders.
The organisation was founded in 2021 by Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea.
Mata and Fernandes are no strangers to working with de Gea having played together at Manchester United. Additionally, the investment marks Mata and Fernandes’ first foray into the esports industry, joining other footballers such as Sergio Agüero and Jesse Lingard.
Rebels Gaming currently fields rosters in Rainbow Six Siege, VALORANT and League of Legends, alongside a roster of content creators. In 2022, the VALORANT team won stage one of VRL 2022 Spain: Rising, the title’s Spanish league. In June, Rebels’ Rainbow Six roster secured victory in season 4 of the Spain Nationals circuit operated by Ubisoft and esports production company Cabal.
In addition to its esports achievements, the organisation continues to expand its presence. In March, it opened a headquarters based in Madrid and a month later secured its first partnership with gaming lifestyle and peripherals brand Razer.
The trend of footballers and clubs entering esports shows no signs of slowing down. Costa Rican football team Club Sport Herediano formed an esports division earlier this yeah with plans to enter Rocket League, League of Legends and FIFA. Moreover, Brazilian club SC Internacional launched an esports project.
De Gea commented on the arrival of new shareholders: “I am delighted to count on two great colleagues and above all friends; I know that both will bring positive values to the esports sector.
“Every day they experience what being a professional athlete means. They know the dedication, strength and perseverance that is needed to reach the top. Being a part of Rebels Gaming, they want to share what they have learned with the young video game players representing the organisation.”