Here's a twist: an esports league has a new team: a soccer team. A German soccer club, that is, one of the nation's largest.
Esports Observer reports that FC Schalke 04 has acquired a place European League of Legends Championship Series, replacing Elements. The deal has not been formally announced but Esports Observer cited multiple sources saying the deal had gone through.
FC Schalke 04 is not the first professional sports club to get into esports. Others in European soccer also sponsor teams and just this week West Ham United F.C. of the Barclays Premier League signed up an esports professional to represent it at FIFA tournaments (the video game series, not the global organization). Eports Observer notes Schalke's move is the first significant foray into a top-tier league, however.
Elements, formerly known as Alliance, formed in January 2015. The team had been shopping for bidders on its space after disappointing performance in last year's EU LCS Spring Split. Elements came back again this year and finished seventh in the same event for the third straight time.
FC Schalke 04, chartered in 1904, has played in the Bundesliga's top flight since the 1991-1992 season. The club has won seven league championships but none since 1958; it was last runner up in the 2009-10 season. In 2014, Forbes ranked the club as the 12th-most valuable soccer club in the world. It's currently in seventh place as the 2015-2016 Bundesliga season draws to a close.