Everything has to start somewhere and the first ever Celtic eSports League got underway last night, not necessarily in Dublin but in the homes and on the screens of eight semi professional eGamers representing clubs from both sides of the border in Ireland, Scotland Wales and in a break with traditional ideas of celtic heritage, England.
The Sportego Community Cup is a pre season warm up matching top gamers from the UK and Ireland with professional football clubs in a tournament which will last throughout this week and be broadcast live on the Twitch network.
The full first season of the Celtic eSports League will get underway in January.
The clubs involved at this stage include Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk; Crusaders and Linfield; Hamilton Academical, Hibernian, TNS and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Jordan Geary was the star of the show coming in having won the 2016 Microsoft ExpertZone Fifa 16 World Championships against 2000 fellow competitors. He went down 1-0 in the first quarter final though and Rovers also lost on a Golden Goal after a 3-3 draw.
The fourth quarter final including former professional footballer Rohan Ricketts takes place tonight at 8pm
“This is an exciting move for us, said Colm O’Mealoid of Sportego.
“The sponsorship of the Celtic eSports League is the first of its kind and we’re proud to be treading new ground. We have some fantastic clubs to work with during the inaugural season and we look forward to helping the league grow with some innovative activation campaigns and fan engagement initiatives.”
“eSports is growing at a phenomenal rate world-wide and the clubs’ involvement demonstrates their proactive and innovative approach to growing the brand of their clubs online, added Geoff Wilson, former Head of Marketing at the Irish Football Association and a constant around the world with FIFA.
“The Sportego Celtic eSports League is an exciting new concept and we hope to attract new fans for not only the league but all the clubs involved.”
It won’t be for everyone but the rapid development of eSports cannot be ignored and sport is always adapting to new ways of play and engagement. This is one that is here to stay.