Australian sports outfit the Adelaide Crows have made history by being the first mainstreams sports organisation in Australia to buy an esports team.
Surprisingly, the team they’ve purchased aren’t for a sports game, which is the more standard route for sports organisations to get involved, but a league of legends team. A successful one at that: Sydney-based Legacy eSports.
Legacy is one of Australia’s top-eight League of Legends teams, competing in the Oceanic Pro League. The team had a strong performance in this year’s Spring Split, and were expected to win it. Chiefs have dominated the OPL since its inception two and a half years ago, but Legacy were the favourites to snatch it this year, ultimately losing to Dire Wolves in the final.
The deal was pushed through by the Crows’ chief operating officer Nigel Smart, who was keen to make the Crows the first AFL club to make the jump into esports. The deal was struck from an undisclosed sum, understood to be in the six-figure range. At this stage, Legacy will keep its own identity and branding, although this may change in the future.
Crows chief executive Andrew Fagan said in a statement: “It (esports) is hugely popular with millennials and there are enhanced opportunities for current and new corporate partners to engage with younger, digital and social media-savvy audiences.”
“In many ways, eSports represents the intersection of technology, media and entertainment, which are all a key part of our strategic focus.”