By Emre Bilginoglu, Attorney-at-Law, Istanbul, Turkey
While NBA launched the NBA E-League, several European football leagues entered the realm of E-Sports by creating their own E-leagues.
First of all, the French Ligue 1 collaborated with EA Sports to launch FIFA 17 e-Ligue 1. 20 clubs of the League signed one PS4 and one Xbox One player. PSG (Paris St Germain) was the first French club to create its E-Sports team.
Secondly, Dutch Football League, Eredivisie, followed its French counterpart, as 18 clubs of the Eredivisie signed their players.
In addition to regular “E-Sports’ TV channels”, such as ‘YouTube’ and ‘Twitch’, Fox Sports Netherlands will also broadcast the E-football matches.
Thirdly, the Austrian Bundesliga announced on 31 March 2017 that it is to create its own e-league, commencing this October. This is the latest top tier football club in Europe to embrace E-Sports. Teams will compete in a League based on EA Sports’ ‘FIFA 18’ computer game, which will be launched shortly before the inaugural competition begins.
Finally, a similar move from the German Bundesliga may be expected in the near future.
Furthermore, it is quite possible that football fans may soon be witnessing a European Champions E-League, as E-Sports continues its apparently unstoppable development into football and other sports in Europe and elsewhere!
Emre Bilginoglu may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’.