Wolverhampton Wanderers has become the first English Premier League club to enter the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), further showcasing the growing trend of traditional sports organisations expanding into competitive gaming.
The announcement sees Wolves add to its growing portfolio of esports teams, with the club already establishing rosters for FIFA 21, FIFA Online 4, PUBG, Identity V and Pop Kart Racing.
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Russell Jones, Wolves General Manager for Marketing and Commercial Growth, commented via a release: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of a Wolves esports Rocket League team. Millions of people around the world are playing Rocket League and, given its similarities to football, it felt like the perfect next step into esports.
“Gaming and esports remain a crucial part of our brand growth strategy and signing such talented and ambitious players to represent our Rocket League esports team is another step forward in our journey to build stories outside of football and widen the appeal of the Wolves brand across the world.”
Wolves’ new team features the likes of Rix Ronday, Luis Puente Peña, and Ole Van Doorn from Libertas, Edelweiss Esports and Barrage Esports respectively. It has been revealed that the club’s first official tournament will be in the upcoming RLCS X Winter Split, which kicks off on November 12th and boasts a prize pool of $100,000 (~£76,808).
Wolves has become yet another sporting organisation looking to fully immerse itself into the world of esports. In The Esports Journal’s latest edition, the club even goes in-depth to discuss its plans to integrate esports into its operations.
The football club will also be likely clashing with the likes of FC Barcelona, after the European club opted to create a Rocket League team last year, and David Beckham-owned Guild Esports. Since joining the scene, FC Barcelona has reaped the benefits and recently placed fifth in the RLCS Season X – Fall: EU Major.
Rix Ronday, Team Captain of Wolves Esports Rocket League team added: “It is a real honour to captain the first-ever Wolves Esports Rocket League team. I’m confident that we have recruited two of Rocket League’s most exciting talents in Ole and Luis and we are working hard behind the scenes to prepare for the RLCSX Winter Split kick-off.”
Esports Insider says: Wolves has seemingly looked at esports as a potential avenue to branch out and strengthen its brand. Its addition to Rocket League will certainly strengthen the scene, as long as the club looks to use this as a competitive opportunity. Given Wolves’ track-record with other games, it seems that the club is wanting to stake its claim as a reputable organisation in the esports scene.