- Spanish FC Barcelona joins the League of Legends esports scene
- The football club will be playing in the Superliga from 2022
- Barcelona says they want to expand their presence in “emerging markets for football fandom”
The legendary FC Barcelona is expanding its sports portfolio and joining the competitive League of Legends scene, playing in the Spanish Superliga starting next year.
Barca Enters Competitive League of Legends
It has been a trend for some time now that major sports organizations launch their own esports divisions. What was one time a rare and bizarre occurrence, has become something sports organization executives recognize as an investment in a growing esports market.
One such large organization that is following in the footsteps of many of its competitors is the popular Spanish football club Barcelona. On November 10, the football club announced on their official website that they will be joining the Superliga in 2022. This is the highest-level tournament of this esports in Spain, organized by the Professional Video Games League (LVP).
It is interesting to note that other teams in the league are co-owned by FC Barcelona’s first-team captain Gerard Pique. He, along with Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos acquired AstralisSB’s spot for 300,000 euros in September.
Perhaps the football club’s entry into the world of esports should come as no one’s surprise, as Barca had already bought a slot for a LoL team in the Superliga last month. “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 wrote in the official statement.
Barcelona’s Involvement in the Superliga
Barcelona will be joining a very popular league in early 2022. Just in this year’s summer season, the Superliga accumulated over 2.6 million viewing hours. The league’s grand final was watched by over 300K viewers, which obliterated the previous record of 73,596. According to the press release, the Superliga’s final achieved “an AMA (Average Minute Audience) of 43,191 viewers, a 165% increase on the final in summer 2020.”
League of Legends isn’t Barcelona’s only foray into the world of esports. For two years now the club has been involved in three other esports, most appropriately in eFootball and Rocket League, but also in Hearthstone.
Barcelona stated that the organization is committed to “become a main player in the digital esports sector worldwide in the next few years”. The club wants to focus on “emerging markets for football fandom, and to take the Barça brand to countries such as the United States of America or China.”