Back in the day celebrities used to buy a night club or a private jet. Simpler times for sure. In this day and age, it’s starting to look like this season’s must-have accessory is an eSports team! Everyone and their dog seems to be jumping on the bandwagon.
Such is the case with noted Barca forward Antoine Griezmann. The French international star joins the prestigious ranks of famous people to have delved into the eSport market. He and his brother have started the newbie company and have begun the search in earnest to find players and populate teams. They hope to compete in the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Fortnite. Oddly there is no talk of the developing company, currently named Grizi eSport, competing in PES, but FIFA is a real possibility.
Greizmann is in prestigious company. Other celebs and sportspeople who have invested in eSports are the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Neymar and NFL superstar Odel Beckham Jr. That being said nobody on that list has quite gone to lengths that Griezmann has, opening his own eSports company. Instead of dipping their toes into the industry in other ways.
That is perhaps a reflection of the ambition of the Griezmann brothers to make a real impact on the industry. After all, why do things half-hearted? It’ll be interesting to see if their ambitions are realised as they progress within the industry.
It was only Monday when the fledgeling Grizi eSport was revealed to the world. As well as introducing the company it was revealed that Antoine’s brother will be in charge of the operation and the day to day running of the organisation.
It didn’t take the young Frenchman long to set out his stand. Just a few hours after their big announcement he was on Twitter to start the recruitment process looking to lure hot new gaming talent to their rookie team in various titles.
Among the games, he is recruiting for are the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, FIFA, and the aforementioned Fortnite. The company, whose mascot is a penguin, clearly mean business and aren’t just looking to focus on a single area.
What is particularly interesting is that the company hasn’t chosen to purchase an existing brand. Rather than buying a team with players on its books, it is starting from scratch. Therefore it is unclear at what level Grizi are going to enter the game. So the fledgeling brand will have to build and develop its reputation. But of course, having their family name attached to their company offers a certain amount of kudos.
In the game
Any fears casual observers might have had that their focus would be purely on football due to their brother’s commitment to the sport will be alleviated by the diverse list of games they are currently looking to compete in. It would appear that they are looking into some of the most exciting games around at the moment.
Believe it or not, the mercurial Frenchman isn’t the only member of the ranks at the Catalan side to be involved in eSports. Teammates and centre back Gerard Pique (formerly of Manchester United) runs the football.pro league. That contest focuses mostly on competitive Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA and ironically contains a Barcelona side. There are teams from all over Europe represented in the league.
It will be interesting to see if the links translate into Grizi entering into that league in the future. Of course, I guess that is partially dependent on the company being able to attract players of a high enough calibre to compete.