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Athletes who own eSports organisations

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Over the last few years, the esports industry has grown exponentially in terms of revenue and viewership. What sets esports apart is its inclusivity. People from all ages and demographics can play together without the fear of a language barrier, and unlike the other forms of sports where even genetics can play a major factor, in esports, that isn’t the case.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry has seen an incredible rise, which has seen celebrities from all fields get involved in the esports world.

In this article, we look at some of the top athletes from the ‘orthodox’ sporting industry who have not only ventured into the esports world but have taken the extra step to own their own esports organisations.

 

Sergio Agüero

Organisation: KRÜ Esports

Profession: Footballer (Retired)


The former Argentina and Manchester City striker fulfilled his long-time dream and passion of owning his own esports organisation in October 2020. Agüero founded the KRÜ Esports organisation, which currently competes in VALORANT and FIFA.

The current VALORANT roster:

  • Nicolas ‘Klaus‘ Ferrari
  • Roberto ‘Mazino‘ Rivas
  • Juan Pablo ‘NagZ‘ Lopez
  • Joaquin ‘delz1k‘ Espinoza
  • Angelo ‘keznit‘ Mori

Even though it is a young organisation, KRÜ Esports has already won three VALORANT titles, having won the VCT 2021: LAS Stage 2 Challengers 1, the VCT 2021: LATAM Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs and the VCT 2021: LAS Stage 3 Challengers 1 titles.

 

Gareth Bale

Organisation: Ellevens Esports

Profession: Footballer


In February 2020, Wales and Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale launched his very own esports organisation, Ellevens Esports.

The organisation currently has FIFA and Rocket League rosters, with goals of entering the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Fortnite scenes too.

The current Rocket League roster:

  • Gabriel ‘caard‘ Cardoso
  • Enzo ‘tander‘ Toledo
  • Caio ‘CaioTG1‘ Vinicius
  • Nicholas ‘Nick‘ Marrone’

 

David Beckham

Organisation: Guild Esports

Profession: Footballer (Retired)


UK-based professional esports company Guild Esports was founded in September 2019 and globally launched in June 2020, with former England national football team captain David Beckham as a co-owner of the organisation.

Guild Esports was initially founded as The Lords Esports before being rebranded to Guild Esports once Beckham came on board. The organisation currently has teams in Fortnite, Rocket League, FIFA and VALORANT, with the Fortnite team having won the Fortnite Champion Series European Grand Finals in March 2021 and the Rocket League roster winning the Rocket League Championship Series EU Spring Regional in April 2021.

 

David de Gea

Organisation: Rebels Gaming

Profession: Footballer


Spain and Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea launched his own esports organisation, Rebels Gaming, in December 2021. Based out of Madrid, Rebels Gaming competes in League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege and VALORANT.

The current VALORANT roster:

  • Wadir “WADDLE” Taraki
  • David “Fizzy” Figueiredo
  • João “jannyXD” Daniel
  • Felix “lyNxi” Björklund
  • Alessio “musashi” Xhaferi

 

The current Rainbow Six Siege roster:

  • Julián “HuliK” Francos
  • Joan “NaoResh” Tort
  • Mario “Nubaii” Oliveira
  • David “Deivid” Vila
  • Alejandro “aLex” Lora

 

Romain Grosjean

Organisation: R8G Esports

Profession: Racing Driver


Swiss-French racing driver Romain Grosjean, who competed in Formula One between 2012 and 2020, launched his own esports organisation in April 2020 called R8G Esports, a sim racing team.

The team competes in various racing simulations such as iRacing.com, rFactor2, Gran Turismo Sport and Assetto Corsa.

 

The team’s active driver roster:

  • Romain Grosjean
  • Thibault Cazaubon
  • Jeffrey Gallan
  • Erhan Jajovski
  • Risto Kappet
  • Alexander Wolters
  • Yuri Kasdorp
  • Hany Alsabti
  • Maarten van Loozenoord
  • Thomas Scibilia
  • Thomas Petitjean

 

Since its launch, the team has also enjoyed significant success, with its major achievements being:

  • GT PRO SERIES CHAMPION
  • WORLD PRO RACING AMD CHALLENGE CHAMPION
  • WORLD PRO RACING GRIIP CHAMPION

 

With Grosjean having been a former driver for the Formula One team Haas, R8G Esports team also managed the esports operations of the Haas F1 team for the 2021 season.

Jesse Lingard

Organisation: JLINGZ esports

Profession: Footballer


England and Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard acquired the UK-based esports organisation Audacity Esports in August 2021 and rebranded it as JLINGZ esports. The team currently competes in Rainbow Six Siege and FIFA.

 

The current FIFA team:

  • Lisa Manley
  • Eric Finn

 

The current Rainbow Six Siege roster:

  • Sam Williams
  • Alex Watson
  • Adam Williamson
  • Patrick Stenson
  • Roland Szabo

 

Lando Norris

Organisation: Team Quadrant

Profession: Formula One Driver


McLaren Racing’s Lando Norris followed his passion of gaming and content creation to launch the gaming brand Quadrant in November 2020. The brand entered the Halo Championship Series in December 2021. Apart from being a gaming brand, Quadrant is also a lifestyle brand.

 

Mesut Özil

Organisation: M10 Esports

Profession: Footballer


German footballer Mesut Özil launched his own esports organisation, M10 Esports, in 2018.

Mesut’s passion for gaming and esports led to the inception of the esports organisation, and the German footballer also wanted to provide a platform for the young gamers who wanted to develop and grow their own skills.

M10 Esports has two active rosters in Fortnite and FIFA.

 

The Fortnite roster:

  • Emil ‘Nyhrox‘ Pedersen
  • Lukas ‘Pepper‘ Goldack
  • Derman ‘Motor‘ Özdemir
  • Elias ‘Karma‘ Q.
  • Kenan ‘Legxndz‘ Tazi
  • Berkay ‘Berki‘ Sarioba

 

M10 Esports’ FIFA team has enjoyed second-place finishes at the FUT 19 Champions Cup March – Finals and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

John Sherman Smith-Schuster

Organisation: Team Diverge

Profession: American Footballer


American footballer Smith-Schuster launched his own esports organisation, Team Diverge, in October 2020.

Smith-Schuster, who is known for his affinity for esports, launched Team Diverge as not only a gaming organisation but a cross between sports, gaming and culture.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver launched Team Diverge with the vision of building an environment that would see professional gamers, content creators, athletes, musicians and celebrities collaborate together to provide a platform for the upcoming talents.

Smith-Schuster is also an honorary member of the international esports organisation, FaZe Clan, having collaborated with them to create content and merchandise.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Organisation: Trench Made

Profession: American Footballer


American footballer Marquez Valdes-Scantling founded the esports organisation Trench Made Gaming in May 2021.

Trench Made kicked off the action with a roster in Call of Duty. The organisation is also looking to compete in other titles and create content, livestream gameplay and launch its exclusive street wear and merchandise down the line.

 

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