Atlético Madrid partners with Telefónica to launch esports team

(Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

Spanish LaLiga football side Atlético Madrid has announced the launch of its own esports outfit, in collaboration with the existing Movistar Riders team, which is part-owned by Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica.

Movistar Riders competes in various video games and has had a presence in FIFA since its foundation in 2017. Its FIFA team will be known as Atleti eSports from this season onwards, although the team’s shirts will feature the logos of both clubs, as well as those of both major sponsors: Movistar (a Telefónica brand) and sportswear giant Nike. 

The team will compete in the eLaLiga Santander, the official FIFA 20 Ultimate Team tournament of Spanish football’s top tier, taking the total number of teams in the 2020 edition of that competition to 34. The total prize fund stands at €100,000.

The first phase of the competition begins today (Friday), with Atleti eSports announcing five-time Spanish FIFA champion and FIFA eWorld Cup grand finalist Andoni Payo, known as AndoniiPM, as their first major signing and representative in the tournament.

Atlético’s LaLiga rival FC Barcelona also has an esports team, though it does not compete in FIFA competitions, while Real Madrid has made only tentative moves in the space and currently lacks a full-time esports outfit of its own.