Barnsley FC enters esports via Barnsley College partnership

16 January 2023


Image credit: Barnsley FC / Barnsley College / Barnsley Griffins

English League One football club Barnsley FC has announced an esports-focused partnership with the Barnsley Griffins and Barnsley College.

The partnership will see Barnsley FC organise esports tournaments and field a FIFA team whilst also working on other projects promoting inclusion and diversity in esports.

Barnsley FC is an English football club that currently plays in League One, the third-tier league in England. This is the first time the club has entered esports, although not on its own. Its two main partners — Barnsley Griffins and Barnsley College — both have experience in the industry. The Griffins are an esports organisation competing at a national level in England and Barnsley College has its own dedicated esports section.

The partnership already saw its first activation, with a FIFA 23 tournament taking place in early January. According to Enzo Guarini, the Head of Barnsley College’s Esports Course, the short-term plan is to host more online tournaments under the Barnsley name to increase visibility of the programme. Moreover, the partnership will have a major focus towards promoting diversity and inclusion in esports.

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Barnsley FC’s esports divison already has its own workforce, Guarini explained, and added that there is already an esports podcast being produced. Barnsley also has its own casters and streamers.

Barnsley FC joins a growing number of British football clubs entering esports, with the likes of Manchester City, Norwich, Wolves and a number of others already fielding esports rosters.

There is also an official ePremier League tournament that takes place every year, with Premier League footballers also becoming owners of esports brands, such as Jesse Lingard and David de Gea.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.