Following the Adelaide Crows purchase of a local League of Legends team, the AFL has announced that its commission has greenlit the league's intention to establish its own esports league.
In a drop given to Fairfax Media, the AFL Commission has approved the code's broader expansion into esports. The league won't make too many splashes just yet, but is supposedly in the phase of researching the best way to expand into the Australian scene.
The report also notes that the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL club has begun discussions to purchase a local team of their own:
Following on from the Crows' eSports purchase, the Giants have begun preliminary talks with a number of eSports teams, one of them based in western Sydney, about buying their organisations. The Giants believe, that like their netball team and AFLW team, having a Giants branded eSports team can introduce GWS to new and bigger fan markets.
One of the teams directly named was Chiefs Esports Club. I've contacted them asking to confirm whether GWS Giants, or any other AFL club had reached out with view to buying out the team. The team hadn't gotten back to me with a statement by the time of writing, but if I hear back I'll let you know.
Still, it's interesting to see just how rapidly the broader Australian industry is starting to jump into esports. The AFL sees esports as a way to attract younger audiences that aren't watching TV, which makes you wonder if AFL games will become viewable on Twitch someday soon. It also makes you wonder whether other codes, like the A-League and NRL, will follow suit.
Disclaimer: Kotaku Australia's parent company, Allure Media, is owned by Fairfax Media.