What does the Legacy and Adelaide Crows partnership mean for esports?

Joshua Creighton Roar Rookie

By Joshua Creighton, Joshua Creighton is a Roar Rookie

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    It's going to be a massive 2018 for Australian eSports. (Image: Riot Games)

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    If you’ve looked just about anywhere regarding Oceanian esports these last few weeks, there’s almost no doubt that you would’ve seen some announcements about an extremely interesting, extremely positive partnership coming about between highly-regarded Oceanic esports team Legacy and the well-respected Adelaide Crows Football Club.

    While this new partnership bodes many questions, there’s one question that’s left just about everyone in the Oceanic region looking forward – just how does the Adelaide Crows and Legacy esports partnership affect the current esports scene in Oceania, and what can we expect to see in the future?

    The answer is one that might not be as simple as many might think – while the partnership is unprecedented in the region, and without a doubt a positive step for the incredibly rapidly growing esports market, there are many factors that go into how this will affect the region as a whole, as well as the international growth of Oceanic esports in general.

    With these thoughts in mind, we’re exceptionally lucky to be able to ask Michael Carmody a few questions about the deal, how it came about, and what Oceanian esports is developing in general.

    Q1: With this new partnership underway, what do you think is the next step forward for esports in Oceania?
    M: A more formal engagement with “established” clubs is making the path to commercial sponsorships easier. Potential sponsors understand sponsoring grass sports (ie. Soccer, Football, etc), and when grass sports are vouching for esports, that path is much easier for them to walk down.

    This will mean significant increase in resourcing for esports players and organisations, so we’re more likely to see real, full-time ‘pro’ esports players, more gaming houses in non-LOL sports and much better exposure for esports in Oceania in general, particularly with mainstream media.

    Q2: In regards to Q1, what games do you think these potential sponsors should look towards? With Rocket League, CS:GO, League of Legends, Dota2 and many other games being a focal point for their viewer bases, do you think there are particular games that other clubs should be looking towards with the potential of picking up any particular organisations? Or do you think the game isn’t necessarily important to the prospect of a partnership with a football club?
    M: At the moment, Blizzard is pushing hard towards StarCraft 2, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and HearthStone. It really just depends on how much org/league support the games put in, and their backing for any esport in their game. For example, Blizzard just picked up McDonalds as a StarCraft 2 sponsor.

    Dota2 in Oceania is a fringe/dead scene. It will require a lot of love to get it back into shape. Traditional sports as video games are strangely getting a lot of press, but they’re not really my cup of tea; and in all honesty, I don’t know a single pro who plays them.

    As for other clubs, the deal with AFC (Adelaide Football Club) came around through a series of events. AFC saw it as a strategically important expansion, which in turn saw them contacting Riot to say hello. Riot introduced them to us and a few other orgs, but conversations between Legacy and AFC proceeded until we inked a deal with them.

    Q3: Do you think this kind of deal could happen for any other Oceanic esports teams? If so, what teams would you like to see get this kind of opportunity?
    M: It already has, in part. With orgnisations and people affiliated with ARL, NRL and other clubs. Another actual club picking up an esports team is quite probable, especially within the next six months. I couldn’t tell you who, though and there are plenty of orgs who deserve a chance at a partnership like the one Legacy came across.

    Clearly, the Legacy / Adelaide Crows partnership has struck up quite a potential storm for the Oceania region – teams looking to make their big breakthrough in the esports community should look to seize an opportunity right now.

    Currently, Legacy is the most prominent esports name in Oceania – but it’s evident that we’re potentially going to see that come into heated discussion in the next few months, with large media outlets noticing the huge trends that come with esports.

    It’s unsure what the future will be like, but it’s definitely shaping up to be an eventful time in the Oceanic region. Whether we see a huge shift in media broadcasting, or whether we see another team come into partnership with some of the biggest outlets in Australian media broadcasting – only time will tell.

    Regardless, the entire Oceania region should be exceptionally excited for the future, as well as very proud of the Legacy organisations for laying out a groundwork not yet seen in Australia – a groundwork which help pave the way for future organisations, teams, games, and overall esports in Oceania. Only one question remains – who will we see stepping up to the plate?

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