Sporting Lisbon officially lauches eSports department on starcitizenhelp

One of Portugal’s biggest teams, Sporting Clube de Portugal, today announced the official formation of their eSports department

Will the Sporting faithful take the new eSports division to their hearts?

As reported first by The Esports Observer and subsequently in other publications, one of the largest clubs in Portuguese football are making their way into the eSports light. Sporting Clube de Portugal, more commonly known worldwide as Sporting Lisbon, today officially announced the formation of an eSports department, headed up by Steelshock founder Márcio Figueiredo and Pedro Silveira, organizer of XLParty and Portugal’s 2011 World Cyber Games.

Early stories about the club making this move suggested they would follow West Ham and Manchester City in starting their journey with a FIFA pro, and the statement released by the club does seem to suggest that will be the case. Francisco ‘Quinzas’ Cruz, formerly of Team Dignitas, will join as the first eSports star to represent Sporting, with rumours suggesting their next port of call will be League of Legends.

Cruz himself is a long time FIFA competitor that actually attended the 2011 Ballon d’Or event and was interviewed by FIFA in the run-up to the 2012 Interactive World Cup, and as a Portuguese star seems a logical choice for the club. A statement on the club site, which can be found in full here, described Cruz ‘as one of the best FIFA Players in the World’, and went on to say that ‘it made perfect sense to get the best player in the Portugal and one of the best in the World playing for Sporting Clube de Portugal.’

With all due respect to Cruz, the next moves the club makes will probably be more impactful in the eyes of the online community overall, and their entry into League of Legends is sure to create some serious waves, but for now this is still a significant sign that eSports is continuing to become more mainstream. With partners like G2A and Elgato on board they also have a wealth of industry knowledge to call upon, and it will be fascinating to see how their eSports department evolves.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia

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