Each week we bring you a taste of what is happening around the commercial world of esports. We will focus on advances in the Irish sector when there are some, as well as on some of the commercial deals which are taking place and fuelling the rapid growth of this area within the world of sport.
FAI LAUNCH NEW eLOI TOURNAMENT
The FAI is joining the eSports revolution with the launch of their first ever eLOI competition for League of Ireland clubs and with the Republic of Ireland’s entry into the FIFAe Nations Series 2021.
All 20 clubs from the SSE Airtricity Premier and First Divisions will participate in the exciting new eLOI competition from April 6th with a live broadcast final scheduled for May 10th, 2021 in a tournament that will come under the official League of Ireland umbrella.
The eLOI also joins the EA SPORTS FIFA 21 Global Series tournament circuit as an Official League Qualifier on the Road to the FIFAe World Cup, with the top two players qualifying into the EA SPORTS FIFA 21 European PS4 Play-Offs to be held later this year.
Additionally, the winner of the new eLOI will go on to be one of two designated representatives to play for the Republic of Ireland in the FIFAe Nations Series 2021 when they will go head-to-head against the top FIFA esports nations in qualification in May 2021, playing to reach the Grand Finals in the Autumn.
The second Republic of Ireland player chosen to represent their country in the FIFAe Nations Series will qualify via an open online tournament, the FAI eCup which will run across Ireland on April 1st, April 8th, and April 15th with the winner of this qualification series playing in May’s qualifiers.
“This marks an exciting start for the FAI with our first venture into the world of esports. We’ve seen huge growth in the participation of our Irish footballing fans in the esports space and we can’t wait to put Irish players on the map in the FIFAe Nations Series and via the brand new eLOI.”
BEYOND THE BASEMENT
There is a strong Irish interest in a new 2021 podcast focused on the world of esports and featuring Trev Keane, a co-founder of Irland eSports, Ben Finnegan, a brand manager with Rockshore and podcast host Dan McLaren.
The podcast drops each fortnight and so far has carried interviews with Jill Downey of Core Sponsorship and Dan Bravato of Seventy Six Capital Sports Advisory.
They kicked off with an episode outlining the ten reasons why they believe esports is ready to shape our culture and why it should be on every brand’s agenda.
Sticking with the podcast world, Sport for Business member Sheridans Sport have an interesting look at the growing Irish eSports scene in their latest episode of The Backpage.
It also looks at the increasing investment of footballers in the space and the transition from the real world of sport into eSports.
Well worth a listen.
GROUP ADDS DENVER TO NFL EVENTS ROSTER
The Esports Entertainment Group is building a nice portfolio of NFL teams to provide them with a unified approach to hosting local eSports tournaments.
The model is the same in Boston with the New England Patriots, Philadelphia with the Eagles and now Denver with the Broncos.
The Group will provide infrastructure for local tournaments under the banner of the major franchise.
In time we would imagine the NFL will itself take an interest in the rights for this so as to retain the financial benefit for the owners that make up the League.
For now though the opportunity is there and while no time is specified on the deals, they are referenced as multi-year.
ARCHITECTS PLANS PAINT VISION OF THE FUTURE
Populous, the architects behind the new stadium at Tottenham Hotspur, have unveiled images of a new 7,000 seat eSports arena planned to be completed in Toronto City Centre by 2025.
“The design of the theatre was neither conceived as a sports arena nor an opera house, rather, a new typology that straddles the two – a state-of-the-art performance venue,” said Populous senior principal Jonathan Mallie
“The theatre architecture creates a merger of the old and the new.”
Developer OverActive Media is the owner of global esport franchises including Toronto’s teams: Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League and Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League.
“It has always been our intention to develop a venue and hosting strategy and to build a facility that could not only serve as an iconic home for our two franchises but ultimately emerge as a global hub for major international esport events,” said OverActive Media CEO Chris Overholt.
Sport for Business Partners