German Soccer Club Turns to eSports to Pack Their Arena
With Echo Fox’s owner Rick Fox and Immortals’ owner Steve Kaplan making a big push into League of Legends, it seems like eSports fever has hit NBA alumni. Now it looks like that same obsession has found its way into the world of soccer. Elite German soccer club Schalke 04 has recently confirmed that they are looking to use their signature venue, Veltins Arena, to host eSports events in the future including tournaments, show matches, and viewing parties for national and international events. There is also wide speculation that the club has purchased the EU LCS spot which is currently occupied by the struggling European team Elements.
The eSports community is thrilled with the new venue, but this will not be the first time that a soccer stadium was used for a major eSports event. The 2014 World Championship for League of Legends was held in the Seoul World Cup Stadium which set live esport event records for attendance.
The bigger news to most would be if Schalke confirms that they did, indeed, purchase a spot in the European LCS. Not only would it replace the now struggling Elements team, but the prestige of the soccer club will lead to more fans for eSports as a whole.
Many feel that FC Schalke 04 is reaching into the world of eSports as it recognizes the power that popular games such as CS:GO and League of Legends wield and feel that supporting the movement now will pay out big dividends in the near future. I don’t think anyone involved in the world of eSports marketing, and especially League of Legends marketing, would argue that expectation. The return on eSports advertising is at an all-time high and shows no signs of slowing down. And when you consider that FC Schalke 04 is among the top 15 most valuable soccer organizations in the world, you can bet they will be spending a mint on eSports marketing and reaping the rewards.