Spanish football giants Real Madrid have finally taken the first step into esports, starting their first FIFA Online team, in China.
Previously, Real Madrid have been keeping esports at a distance, although were certainly aware of the growth, especially with FIFA esports.
But now, one of the most successful football clubs in the world will take their talents to the world of the virtual pitch for the first time, as announced on their official Wiebo page.
In the official post, Real Madrid outlined their plans for entering FIFA Online 4 - the Asian offshoot of the FIFA series in the western world, made by South Korean based EA Spearhead and distributed by Tencent.
Translated from Mandarin:
"Real Madrid e-sports team was formally established and will compete for the next season's FIFAONLINE4 professional league FSL. This is the first entry for Real Madrid into the field of e-sports.
The club hopes to be able to expand the interaction channel between the club and Chinese fans through the establishment of e-sports teams. The White Legion's Mei Lingge, let us look forward to Real Madrid's success in the field of e-sports! Hala madrid!"
Considering Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is also the cover player for FIFA Online 4, the inclusion of Real Madrid makes a lot of sense.
The FSL is a professional FIFA league organized by Tencent themselves and is based in China, but other European teams like Lyon have already entered the Chinese tournament.
Like Lyon, this is a logical step for a brand like Real Madrid, who as they make clear in their statement are keen to attract more fans in Asia.