The list of football clubs entering the eSports world has once again increased, as German organisation Schalke 04 acquire Team Elements.
The acquisition marks the biggest move that a football club has made into the eSports field, following the footsteps of West Ham United F.C. and VfL Wolfsburg, who both field players within the competitive FIFA community, and Beşiktaş J.K., who established their own eSports sector in 2015.
Elements, formerly known as Team Alliance, are a League of Legends team who currently compete in the European League Championship Series. The organisation was officially formed in 2015, however, as one of League of Legends’ most historic teams, Elements maintain a legacy dating back to 2012, with their crowning achievement, winning the EU LCS Summer Playoffs, obtained in 2014.
Ahead of their official press conference on Thursday, 19th May, Moritz Beckers-Schwarz, chairman of the board at FC Schalke 04 Arena Management GmbH, stated;
“We have noticed that the level of professionalism in eSports has continued to grow over the past years. Particular noteworthy is the development of structures within League of Legends and the flagship League of Legends Championship.”
The roster for the newly obtained Schalke 04 organisation will, for the most part, remain unchanged, with the only alteration occurring in the form of previous Unicorns of Love mid laner, Hampus "Fox" Myhre, joining in place of Jeremy "Eika" Valdenaire. In addition to this, it has also been revealed that Head Coach, Patrick "Nyph" Funke, will also retain his current position, while former owner, Jacob "Maelk" Toft-Andersen, moves into the role of Head of eSports for Schalke 04.
With the 2015/2016 football season winding down, it's likely that we'll see more clubs follow the footsteps, of Schalke 04, West Ham United F.C., VfL Wolfsburg and Beşiktaş J.K.. The only questions that remain, are who will be the next club to enter the field, and in which game.
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