As esports continues to grow, so does its recognition amongst schools. But while universities and esports leagues are becoming more and more common, infrastructural support at the high school level is much rarer. That's where the Adelaide Crows are coming in.
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Late last week, the Adelaide Crows squared off against the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium. It was a pretty bruising encounter, with Essendon coming back from a 20 point deficit in the final quarter to win 99 (14.15) to 87 (12.15).
But midway through the final quarter, while the Crows were still 14 points ahead, the commentators deviated from the action to have a go at something else in the crowd.
Earlier this year the Adelaide Crows AFL club made waves by becoming the first major Australian sporting organisation to buy into esports, via the acquisition of Legacy Esports. And later today, they took another first step for the industry: by building a high performance centre exclusively for esports.
Australia’s national game, Australian Rules Football, features 22 men on two opposing teams trying to kick an oval ball through the middle of some large, vertical sticks. Over the past 23 weeks, the 18 teams of the Australian Football League (AFL) have tackled, kicked and jumper-punched each other to oblivion, leaving only eight teams to compete for the Premiership Cup.
Tonight, the Finals begin. And even if you hate football, you can’t avoid the conversations.
Earlier this year the Adelaide Crows sent shockwaves amongst the sporting and gaming scenes by announcing the acquisition of an Australian esports team, Legacy Esports, for an undisclosed six figure sum.
It's the first major move by any Australian sporting organisation into the world of esports. But why now, why Legacy, and what's the plan going forward? To get some answers, I had a chat with Nigel Smart, the chief operating officer of the Crows.