FC Barcelona, a club with a storied legacy in sports, has taken a significant step in the esports world by entering the VALORANT scene. This move, executed under Josep Maria Bartomeu’s tenure, signals Barcelona’s intent to diversify and embrace new digital frontiers, despite initial reluctance and controversial statements regarding violent video games.
Barcelona’s Esports Journey: Early Beginnings
- Initial Foray: Barcelona delved into esports with games like Hearthstone, eFootball, and Rocket League.
- Learning Curve: Each game served a purpose – from familiarizing executives with esports to developing strategic insights.
Bartomeu’s Contradictory Stance
- Past Remarks: Bartomeu’s previous comments about 80% of video games being violent, especially shooters, were at odds with the club’s esports direction.
- Dídac Lee’s Clarification: The former head of digitalization at Barcelona had to contextualize Bartomeu’s statements.
FC Barcelona in VALORANT: The Expansion
- League Entry: Barcelona Esports enters the Rising MediaMarkt Intel, the Spanish league for VALORANT.
- Objectives: Similar to their approach in League of Legends, the focus is on competitive excellence, identity through gameplay, and understanding the competitive landscape.
Building a Foundation
- Time as a Double-Edged Sword: While time is needed to build a winning project, the lack of immediate success can be a burden, as seen with Álex Parejo “Mapache” in the MOBA team.
- Image Exploitation: The current ‘low tide’ in the national league compared to the era of Team Heretics, KOI, and GIANTX provides a prime opportunity for Barcelona to establish itself as a key player.
Strategic Communication and Growth
- Beyond Immediate Success: The club should focus on laying solid foundations and developing successful formulas, rather than aiming directly for the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT).
- Future Vision: Ensuring sustainable growth regardless of leadership changes.
A New Competitive Chapter for Barcelona Esports
FC Barcelona’s foray into VALORANT esports underlines the club’s commitment to expanding its brand and audience reach. By navigating past misconceptions and building a strong presence in the evolving esports landscape, Barcelona sets an example for traditional sports entities transitioning into digital realms.