The so-called European Super League has dominated headlines and conversations across the world this week – and given ESL’s social media team an unexpected headache in the process.
The proposed breakaway football league was to adopt a US-style franchise model with 20 clubs across Europe taking part, including English Premier League sides Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United and Man City, but plans for the league are up in the air after clubs dropped out following fan backlash.
With the company behind it known as the European Super League Company S.L. and the Super League also being referred to as the European Super League (shortened to ESL), this has caused some headaches for existing esports business ESL, formerly known as the Electronic Sports League.
Football fans took to Twitter and other social media sites to share their thoughts around the Super League, confusingly tagging @ESL in their posts. This resulted in more than 1,000 mentions to ESL, the esports tournament organiser, which described the situation as a surprise.
Chris Flato, director of PR at ESL Gaming, told Esports News UK: “It was such a surprise for our social media team to wake up to a bunch of messages on Monday not related to our usual esports business at all.
“We received more than 1,000 mentions that were addressed towards us by mistake, and some of them were actually quite vocal. Luckily, The Super League has only used the acronym “TSL” in official communication so we hope there won’t be many more semantic synergies in the future.
“The name ‘ESL’ is of course legally protected by us, but we’re on standby for more friendly banter in the meantime!”
Elsewhere, eagle-eyed esports fans (including Esports News UK writer Megalodontus) had noticed that the Super League’s branding was surprisingly similar to that of the Northern League Championship (NLC), the UK and Nordics League of Legends tournament organised by DreamHack and Riot Games.
Others in the esports community took to social media to discuss the Super League, spawning Twitter threads and heated debate.
British journalist Richard Lewis held a livestream talking about the Super League, while org founders such as G2’s Ocelote and Excel’s Kieran Holmes-Darby shared their views.
Before most of the football clubs pulled out from the Super League, some questioned whether it would appear in upcoming FIFA or eFootball PES video games, and others suggested Super League teams would be pulled from FIFA games in the future.
Esports News UK contacted EA and Konami for their views on this – EA said it’d get back to us with a comment and Konami declined to comment.
Juventus’ chairman also made a comparison between the Super League and video games:
There’s also the Super League Gaming esports events provider, and the BetFred @SuperLeague that may have been mistaken for the football Super League.
With the Super League now looking like its project will die, it seems ESL’s social media headaches may be over – for now at least!
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.