Soccer clubs throughout Europe are increasingly more eager to begin franchises in eSports Leagues, according to recent news reports on the matter. However, many fans of the age-old sport are opposed to the idea, going as far as to launch protests at actual games against the notion.
Most recently, soccer fans in Switzerland held up play during a local tournament by throwing gaming consoles and tennis balls onto the field mid-game. This unusual protest, as mentioned above, was held against eSports and its affiliation with the sport, and took place last Sunday.
For those who are unfamiliar with eSports, the term refers to competitive video gaming that has also become a very prominent betting market over the past few years. Gamers compete in teams in titles like Overwatch, CS:GO and League of Legends, attracting plenty of support from Millennial spectators in particular.
Everything You Need to Know about eSports and Betting.
Banners Condemn Competitive Gaming
The referee on duty on the day immediately topped the Swiss league game between hosts Young Boys
and rivals Basel
. During the two-minute halt, the pitch at Stade de Suisse
was cleared to prevent harm from coming to any of the players in session.
Fans of Young Boys held up a massive banner with a symbol of a pause button printed on it, along with television images showing a black gaming console on the soccer pitch. Under the images were a slogan strongly opposing video gaming leagues and any involvement with them on the team’s part.
Basel fans also carried a similar banner on the day, expressing their support for the protest, which had been planned long before the game was set to take place. Clearly, soccer supporters in Switzerland are united in their disapproval of leagues having any affiliation with either competitive gaming or its attached betting market.
Young Boys Win the Swiss League
A video of the bizarre protest soon went viral on YouTube, garnering both support and opposition from other sports enthusiasts around the world. In the meantime, European clubs have not yet revealed any plans to cease their interests in eSports, nor have they commented on how they plan to handle similar future events should they happen.
As for the game itself, defending champs Young Boys took the protest in their stride and went on to win the game 7-1 on the same pitch where they lost 3-0 to Britain’s Manchester United on Wednesday in their first ever Champions League