FC Barcelona, the legendary Spanish football club, is launching a League of Legends team.
The club will join Superliga in 2022, the highest level tournament for the esports game in Spain, organised by the Professional Video Games League. Interestingly, other teams in this league include one that is co-owned by Gerard Pique, the first-team captain of FC Barcelona.
“On entering this tournament, FC Barcelona is strengthening their commitment to esports, a strategic sector for the Club, which they first entered two years ago with the aim of developing a strong profile.” The club said in a statement announcing their entry into League of Legends.
Superliga, the League of Legends tournament that Barcelona will be taking part in accumulated over 2.6 million viewing hours during the 2021 summer season. The grand final was watched by 300,000 different viewers, smashing the previous record of 73,596 viewers and “achieving an AMA (Average Minute Audience) of 43,191 viewers, a 165% increase on the final in summer 2020.” according to the release.
In the release announcing its League of Legends team, the historic football club outlined its plans for the next few years in the esports space:
“The commitment to developing Barça’s new esports division forms part of the Club’s digital strategy and is motivated by the same on-field desire of FC Barcelona – to become a main player in the digital esports sector worldwide in the next few years, building a leading division to help connect the Club and its philosophy to new audiences, particularly among emerging markets for football fandom, and to take the Barça brand to countries such as the United States of America or China.”
The club has also said that it will only participate in “non-violent games”.