UPDATE – 13/05/2018 – A statement from the Spanish club published on Dexerto has explained that the source of the Weibo post announcing the expansion was from an unofficial account, and that this story is false
Real Madrid is the latest in a long line of top-tier traditional sport clubs entering the world of esports with its entry into FIFA.
More specifically, Real Madrid announced on Chinese website Weibo that it was looking to sign a team to compete in FIFA Online 4 – a free-to-play take on FIFA that was made with the Asian market in mind. Built by EA Spearhead in South Korea, FIFA Online is available on both PC and Android and is published by familiar face Tencent.
Here’s a translated version of the announcement made by Real Madrid:
“Real Madrid e-sports team was formally established and will compete for the next season’s FIFAONLINE4 professional league FSL. This is the first attempt of Real Madrid in the field of e-sports. The club hopes to be able to expand the interaction channel between the club and Chinese fans through the establishment of e-sports teams. The White Legion’s Mei Lingge, let us look forward to Real Madrid’s success in the field of e-sports! Hala madrid!”
Tencent is the organizer behind FIFA Online’s professional league in China, the FSL, and that’s the competition that Real Madrid is looking to compete in once its team is determined.
Other major football clubs have ties in esports too, there’s definitely a trend forming. Just recently: Paris-Saint Germain partnered with LGD Gaming, Barcelona planned on entering a competition founded by Gerard Piqué, and 1. FC Köln partnered with SK Gaming.
Esports Insider says: When you take into account that Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid’s star player, is on the cover for FIFA Online 4, it’s quite easy to see why the club chose this title. That, and its long history dominating La Liga. Football games are a natural, perhaps unadventurous, expansion for a traditional sports club looking to break into esports.