It’s been a long time coming, but Bayern Munich has now officially launched an eSports team. Per the club’s press release, Bayern’s new eSports team will compete in Konami’s first eFootball.Pro League second edition. The competition is set to begin on December 14th. This announcement comes just months after Bayern had agreed a lucrative new partnership with Konami for the football gaming franchise Pro Evolution Soccer.
Club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has long advocated involvement in eSports, but former president Uli Hoeness remained opposed, so it makes sense that the club made the decision after Hoeness stepped down from his post. Hoeness viewed eSports as something that strayed too far from the club’s sporting brand. In something of a compromise, Bayern has made a “conscious decision to focus on football” games. Rummenigge said in a statement,
KONAMI, our partner for football simulation games, today launches the KONAMI eFootball.Pro League. FC Bayern, in cooperation with our partners Telekom, Allianz and Siemens, will compete in this league with our own team. We’re looking forward to the battles against other top European teams such as Barcelona, Manchester United or Juventus. We made a conscious decision to focus on football simulation games in the Esports world.
Bayern’s eSports team will be comprised of three professional gamers from Spain: Miguel Mestre Oltra, Alejandro Alguacil Segura, and Jose Carlos Sánchez Guillén. The team will be coached by Austrian Matthias Luttenberger, who has been involved with gaming and eSports for nearly 5 years with a specialty in Pro Evolution Soccer. Barcelona, Manchester United, Schalke, Juventus, and Arsenal will all also participate in Konami’s eFootball.Pro League second edition, and ten teams will participate in total. The competition will take place from December 2019 to April 2020 in Barcelona, Spain, and will follow a best-of-two format. The final will take place in summer 2020 around the same time that Euro 2020 is set to begin .