Australian Football League Side Essendon Acquires Esports Team Abyss
Australian Football League side Essendon is the latest AFL team to "enter the world of esports after announcing the purchase of Australian top tier outfit Abyss," according to Anthony Colangelo of THE AGE. Essendon acquired Abyss in partnership with Executive Sports & Entertainment, a commercial rights negotiation firm based in Sydney. Abyss will relocate to Melbourne and, unlike AFL side Adelaide Crows and Legacy -- Adelaide purchased esports team Legacy in May -- it will become "fully integrated" with the Essendon football club "by taking on aspects of its branding, naming and logo." Similarly to Legacy at the Crows, Abyss "will make use of Essendon's facilities and resources at the club with the view to immerse the esports team" with the AFL's elite sporting environment (THE AGE, 12/7). In Melbourne, Sam Edmund reported Abyss will next year compete in the Oceanic Pro League "in an attempt to qualify" for the esports world championship, which this year sold out stadiums across China and offered a A$1.5M ($1.1M) winner's check. Essendon CMO Justin Rodski said that the club "was committed to creating a professional culture and high-performance environment" for its new team. He said, "Esports is the fastest-growing sports category in the world and is quickly changing the entertainment and sports landscape. The international audience is close to 300 million people, the majority are aged 14-34 years, providing a unique platform to engage and reach a younger demographic of fans" (HERALD SUN, 12/7).
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