German soccer team FC Schalke 04 is getting into eSports in a big way. The Bundesliga club announced Monday that it has taken over a professional League of Legends team and will compete in the upcoming summer split of the European League Championship Series as Schalke 04.
Schalke purchased the LCS slot owned by Elements and rebranded the team, keeping much of the roster. While a number of former athletes have invested heavily in eSports – former Lakers star Rick Fox owns Echo Fox in North America, and Shaquille O’Neal and Alex Rodriguez have invested in NRG eSports – Schalke is one of the first traditional sports franchises to add an entire eSports team, which may be a sign of things to come.
The European LCS is staged in Berlin, Germany, about 320 miles east of Schalke’s home of Gelsenkirchen.
Top laner Steve, jungler Gilius, AD carry MrRalleZ and support Sprattel will remain with Schalke, and the team is adding former Unicorns of Love midlaner Fox to complete the team. Former Alliance and Elements support Nyph will coach the team.