FIFA eWorld Cup 2019 was watched 47 million times. This is considered as proof of the potential of FIFA esports in the world. Indeed, most popular esports games are games with the FPS or MOBA genre. However, it seems, football esports will also be increasingly popular. Therefore, it is not surprising that more and more clubs and soccer players are interested in forming esports teams or working with existing esports organizations, such as Arsenal or Juventus. Barcelona became one of the soccer clubs that also actively participated in esports.
The Spanish club first entered the realm of esports in 2018 by competing in the Konami Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) game. Not stopping there, they then took part in the Rocket League tournament in April 2019. This raises the question whether Barcelona is interested in expanding into esports. To answer this question, Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu said that Barcelona would not take part in esports that featured violence. The reason is that violence does not match the club’s reputation.
“We have several esports teams in Asia competing to carry the name Barcelona,” Bartomeu told Radio Marca, quoted by Sports Pro. “But, we don’t fully go into esports because we don’t want to participate in games that feature violence, which is 80 percent of esports.” Within the next few months, Barcelona plans to work together with the esports team in China. They seem to prefer to work with a team that already has a reputation rather than having to build a team from scratch.
Regarding the violent-themed game mentioned by Bartomeu, he did not mention the title of a particular game. However, FPS games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Call of Duty, both clearly have a gameplay that is full of violence. In fact, both are included in the list of 15 game sports that have the biggest impact on the ecosystem. Even so, according to the Palco23 report, games like League of Legends or Fortnite are still considered a strategy game. So that Barcelona does not mind to support the team that plays in both games.