Esports News UK editor and Arsenal fan Dom Sacco shares his views on Sport Bild’s report that claims Arsenal, Swansea and Crystal Palace are interested in taking Schalke’s spot in the League of Legends EU LCS.
No points picked up away from home in 2018.
Getting knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest.
If you’d have asked me if Arsenal would get involved with esports half a year ago, I would have said absolutely not.
But as outlined above, the Arsenal today is not the same Arsenal from a few years back, and times are changing. So could the rumours come true?
The reasons for
Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is already invested in esports – he owns the LA Gladiators Overwatch League spot – so I wouldn’t put it past him signing up to another franchise esports tournament.
Arsenal is also one of the biggest sporting brands in the world today. We have fans in every corner of the globe, and we’re particularly popular in Asia.
The football club also has a strong identity. The club’s motto, Victoria Concordia Crescit (victory through harmony) is at its core. Those familiar with Arsenal will know the club has class in the way it conducts itself, plays the Arsenal way (with style and exciting attacking football) and has a fulfilled history (record number of FA cup wins, that invincibles season, the impossible league win at Anfield 89).
There’s also some keen gamers in the club, such as Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil.
This is not to mention Arsenal’s academy and focus on nurturing young talent.
This could all translate well into esports and open up a new avenue for the club. However…
The reasons against
I just can’t see Arsenal getting involved with esports. And it’s not so easy to explain why.
I’ve been following the club all my life and Arsenal has always been about football and doing things the right way. When other teams like Chelsea and City splashed the cash, the Gunners focused towards promoting youth talent and picking up hidden bargains to remain successful while paying off the new stadium debt.
I’m not sure Arsenal need to get involved with esports. We already have a large fanbase with many young fans supporting the club, and some very good digital content.
The timing doesn’t seem right either. While we’re in a state of transition, with Wenger stepping down as manager, and many players leaving this season for new ones to replace them, I’m not sure it’d be a good idea to move into esports at the same time.
It could also get some negative reaction from fans, who will want Arsenal to focus on choosing the right manager and building for the future, not dabbling in new markets and video games. I don’t think it will be well-received by the fanbase.
My personal view is if Arsenal did go into esports, it’d be through FIFA, not League of Legends.
One thing’s for certain: If Arsenal did embrace esports, they would take the time to do it the right way. They would do their research, hire the right staff and a competitive team.
Finally, if the rumour is true, it’s good to see Riot in talks with the only real club in North London.
What do they think of T*ttenham, we wonder?
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.