Club Brugge, one of the biggest football clubs in Belgium, has signed a Counterstrike: Global Offensive team as part of their endeavor to branch out into esports.
Counterstrike: Global Offensive is a tactical competitive shooter game in which teams of five compete against each other to complete an objective. One team plays as terrorists with the aim to plant the bomb or kill the enemy team, and the other team plays as counter-terrorists, who have to prevent the bomb from being planted or kill the enemy team.
The video game has been out since 2012 but has seen a rise in popularity in 2020 with around 1 million people playing online at any given time. The biggest online tournament in 2018 had a peak number of viewers at 1.9 million, and a prize pool of 1 million dollars.
The new team is called EClub Brugge and consists of five Counterstrike players: Steven “Stev0se” Rombaut, Robin “simix” Bynens and Richard “ritchiEE” Mestdagh, Mateusz “matty” Kołodziejczyk, and Mateusz “n0tice” Wolniak. They will compete for Club Brugge for the first time in the Elite Series tournament, with a prize pool of 15,000€.
Mateusz “n0tice” Wolniak is very excited to start playing for Club Brugge. He states that “it’s something new for me. New language, new role, new people. I am fully motivated to work hard and achieve everything that is possible! I know that we can win a lot in this line-up.”
Their in-game leader Steven “Stev0se” Rombaut says that there are “a lot of competitions coming up” but “we’ll be ready.”
The Belgian football club had individual FIFA players competing in online tournaments for them before, but with the addition of the Counterstrike team, they expand their esports game out of the football realm.
Kirsten Willem, part of the Communication team for Club Brugge, states in an interview with sportza that “Counterstrike: Global Offensive is just one of the bigger esports in Belgium, that is the reason to start participating. It is definitely the intention to add other titles such as League of Legends in the future.”