The Adelaide Crows, a soccer team competing in Australia’s first division, have purchased Legacy eSports and its League of Legends roster, reports The Age’s Anthony Colangelo. The Crows are the first Australian mainstream sports team to enter esports.
The deal was reportedly spearheaded by the Crows’ CEO, Nigel Smart, who was reportedly adamant about making the Crows the first Australian Football League team to enter esports. Before the reported six-figure acquisition of Legacy, the Crows were reportedly in talks with at least one other organization over the past couple of months.
Andrew Fagan, the chief executive of the Crows, said that esports now represents a new area of “focus” for the club, and shared his commitment to its latest addition to the club with the resources it can offer to Legacy. The team is reportedly likely to keep its identity and branding, though those decisions have not been finalized.
“Our traditional revenue streams are obviously strong, as evidenced through our record attendances, membership, corporate hospitality, sponsorship and merchandise return,” Fagan said. “While we will forever remain focused on our core objectives of winning football matches, we need to continue to diversify our activities and programs.”
Legacy eSports has finished in first or second place during the regular seasons the past four splits of the Oceanic Pro League, and came in second place during the most recent playoffs. There has been perhaps never been more intrigue in Australian esports than now, stemming from rave reviews about IEM Sydney — a Counter-Strike earlier in the month — and now this foray from an AFL team.