Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed that he is using his own FIFA 20 esports team, the Falcons, to plan for the future.
Azpilicueta co-owns the sports team with Cacho01 (Jose Antonio Cacho) and Delantero09 (Jesus Rincon). His interest in FIFA interest started with him enjoying the game and then getting to know others who earned a living from producing online content.
Cacho01 is regarded as one of the top FIFA players in Spain and well-known for his YouTube content (1.59 million subscribers). Delantero09 makes his living from online challenges with well-known football players and has 2.96 million YouTube subscribers. They oversee the Falcons' content and three-player team who compete under the team's banner in the global series.
"It ticks so many boxes for me," he said. And while there are contemporaries of Azpilicueta who have already plunged into the esports business, he did not consult them. "I didn't want to make this something with footballers, because in the end the esports industry has other big teams not related to football."
"There is nothing guaranteed when you make investments," Azpilicueta said. "This is an adventure and there is risk with everything. It is more about the project and we got the people we wanted, which was very important."
While he communicates with the team daily over email and text messages, he lets his two business partners run the day-to-day operations. He still has his day job to focus on, after all; Azpilicueta has been heavily involved in the COVID-19 pay discussions and has been Chelsea's spokesperson for the team when it comes to talking over the logistics of if and when the Premier League will return. That's still his first love, and while his competitive nature does slip in while playing FIFA, he said he will always pick watching a real-life match over an esports game.
As for the future of his esports business, getting a foothold in Fortnite is an option, but Azpilicueta does not want to expand too soon. He wants to continue developing the players he has recruited and to establish the Falcons as a global force.
Azipilicuelta is not the only footballer to venture into Esports.
Ozil has M10 eSports, which has teams for FIFA 20 and Fortnite, while Gareth Bale co-owns Ellevens Esports. Javier Mascherano has partnered with eSports Planet, Ronaldinho has his R10 esports organisation, Ruud Gullit runs Team Gullit, Nuri Sahin invested in Futbolist, Antoine Griezmann founded Grizi Esport with his brother, Theo, Christian Fuchs started up NoFuchsGiven and Alessio Romagnoli is in charge of the predictably titled Team Romagnoli.