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Munster Rugby: Charging hard into esports

The lines between esports and traditional sports continue to blur. Storied clubs such as FC Barcelona and the Golden State Warriors have dedicated esports divisions, NBA and F1 teams have esports players representing them in official leagues, and the ownership groups behind the likes of the New England Patriots and New York Mets have splashed out tens of millions of dollars on franchise slots in the Overwatch League. With the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures putting traditional sports leagues on pause for the time being, there’s even more crossover – such as NASCAR drivers competing in iRacing, NBA players facing off in NBA 2K20, and hockey legends Wayne Gretzky and Alexander Ovechkin competing in NHL 20 for coronavirus relief. Photo credit: Munster RugbyAmidst all this, another legendary traditional sports entity has entered the esports world, albeit on a more regional scale. In mid-April, Irish team Munster Rugby announced that it had partnered with Phelan Gaming, which would be rebranded Munster Rugby Gaming. Phelan has been arguably the only significant esports organisation to date in Ireland, and now will go forward with the backing of The Red Army.

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