Epsilon eSports have partnered with Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club, more commonly known as AS Monaco, the organization announced Wednesday.
In their release, Epsilon explained that Nathan “Sneaky” Nayagom had been designated as an ambassador to AS Monaco from among their FIFA players, and would represent the historical football club for the 2016-2017 season.
Espilon eSports CEO Greg Champagne expressed his excitement at the partnership in the team's announcement.
"Nobody would believe me if I told you that I would be partnering us with an historical football club when we created Epsilon eSports 10 years ago," he wrote. "Today, it is with great honor that I am announcing this collaboration with AS Monaco. Sports and eSports are meeting for the happiness of our fan-bases."
Epsilon eSports released a previous announcement which hinted at the impending move but did not name AS Monaco. However, it explained that the intent of their partnership with the club was " to gather two communities: the Epsilon Esports one and the historical football club one. We will create a bridge between eSports and sports field. In order to accomplish that, ourselves and our new partner will create regular content on our social networks."
For their part, AS Monaco describes the move as one which will help them continue to reach a much-targeted demographic.
"This opportunity will give a totally new rewarding experience to all our fans. E-sport has a really young market which is a growing sector, and is therefore an important new step in the digital strategy of the club," said AS Monaco communication and marketing manager Bruno Skropeta.
AS Monaco was founded in 1919 and plays in Ligue 1, the primary French soccer league. They are currently ranked second in that league, and won their last Ligue 1 championship in 1999-2000.
The move represents yet another step in two important developing storylines that have increasingly intertwined: the entry of traditional sports entities into esports, and also the recent explosion of activity in the French esports industry.
Paris Saint-Germain recently announced their esports plans, which include FIFA players and an EU Challenger Series team. They brought in French LoL legend Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim as the head of their esports division.
French broadcaster CANAL Group recently announced a partnership with ESL and with CANAL's owner Vivendi which will see them develop, produce and broadcast new French esports leagues.
But the rapid French development has brought with it some growing pains: melty eSports club was shuttered by its parent company in the face of what they called "an explosion of costs."
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. He is a Class V, semi-anchored entity. You can find him at his usual haunt on Twitter.