While Sparta Prague is deservedly looking good for a top-three finish in the Czech First League table, the football team have made it clear that they are willing to diversify their brand beyond traditional sports. This is because Sparta Prague has made the surprise move to field a team in the FIFA 19 online gaming tournaments.
The announcement was made in 2018, and it marks the first time that Czech sporting institution like Sparta Prague has entered the fast-growing realm of esports. But Sparta Prague won’t be going it alone, as they have teamed up with eSuba to make sure that they can compete on a competitive level in this new domain.
As one of the most visible competitive gaming bodies in the Czech Republic, eSuba has a long history of fielding successful esports teams for battle arena titles like League of Legends and first-person shooters such as Counter-Strike Global Offensive.
While many of these games are a common sight on bookmaker sites featured on esports betting resources such as www.esports.net, by teaming up with a traditional sporting institution such as Sparta Prague, it’s clear that eSuba are breaking new ground for Czech esports.
As part of this new initiative, Sparta Prague will be fielding their own professional gaming team who will represent the club at both national and international levels. Team members of the Sparta Prague esports organisation will wear the team’s shirt and also get to sign a full professional contract with the side.
Already we have seen many talented pro gamers jumping at the chance to join the Sparta Prague esports team. From the likes of Jan ‘The Johnny’ Hradil to Jan ‘Emerickson’ Krupicka, there are plenty of gamers here who will be more than familiar to any Czech gaming fans who have spent any time on live streaming channels like Twitch and YouTube Gaming.
So far we have seen the Sparta Prague esports team performing well in the CZC.cz iSport League where they get to play against some of the best gamers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. But in their bid to succeed in tournaments like the MOL Cup, Sparta Prague has been quick to make sure that their players get the funding necessary to take their gameplay to the next level.
As a result, we have seen Sparta Prague’s esports team forming partnership deals with big brands like Nike, T-Mobile, Generali and Fortuna. Such sponsorship deals are increasingly becoming the lifeblood of many fledgeling esports organisations, and the Sparta Prague brand name is undoubtedly helping these partnerships come about.
Because Sparta Prague has been one of the nation’s best-loved football teams since way back in 1893, it might surprise some of their hardcore supporters that they would wish to get involved with the relatively new phenomenon of competitive gaming. But recently we have seen a wide range of top European football clubs jumping on the esports bandwagon in a bid to broaden the appeal of their brand name and reach out to a younger fanbase.
From the likes of Manchester City fielding their own FIFA 19 players, to iconic teams like Paris Saint Germain starting to enter their gamers in League of Legends tournaments, it’s surprising to see just how many excellent teams are jumping at the chance to get involved in esports.
Ultimately, it seems as though the rampant success of competitive gaming may have caught many football teams by surprise. While esports was largely written off as a fad less than a decade ago, it has grown to become a billion dollar industry.
With even fast food titans like McDonald’s deciding to cancel their sponsorship of the German football association to sponsor a competitive gaming tournament last year, it seems that Sparta Prague’s decision to enter the world of esports couldn’t have been better timed.