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Telefónica marks a milestone in Movistar Riders

The operator enters as a shareholder of the company, which expects to triple its income this year compared to 2020 and reach 6 million euros.

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Telefónica marks a milestone in Movistar Riders

The operator enters as a shareholder of the company, which expects to triple its income this year compared to 2020 and reach 6 million euros.

Fernando Piquer referred to eSports as a "new industry" in 2017, when he founded Movistar Riders and opened the high-performance Movistar eSports Center in Madrid. A pandemic, several verticals and many competitions later, what was just a club created with the "promise of seeing people play has evolved into a global entertainment company and brand," says Piquer, also president and director. Movistar Riders delegate, in an interview with EXPANSIÓN. The executive celebrates this fifth anniversary at a special moment, as Telefónica, which renews its sponsorship of the club for the next three years, has just entered the structure of the company as a partner with a 15% stake, joining a group of shareholders captained by Piquer and Carlos García-Acevedo, also CEO of Movistar Riders and Gaming House Media.

"The intention from the first day was to be more linked with Movistar, they have always been by our side in the big decisions, it is a company that believes in the eSports ecosystems and the team, we will make a powerful company in the coming years." At the moment, the plan is to invoice 6 million euros this year, above the 4.2 million in the past. The jump is important if you look back. "The forecast is to triple revenue compared to 2020", making "a more international club and reinvesting year after year what we generate to cross our borders and impact Latin America," explains the manager, who has more than 80 employees at Movistar Riders.

Movistar not only invests in the company, but also participates through all the verticals that now make up Movistar Riders, whose roadmap is to champion current digital entertainment and that of future generations. In addition to the eSports club and the high-performance center, the company has other companies such as Gaming House Media, a 360º agency specialized in introducing and strengthening the presence of brands within the gamer and eSports ecosystem. She is joined by 2.10 Talent Agency for streamer and talent management and organic activation creation, and Mira! Broadcast. It is a production company that was born from the merger of having professionals with more than 20 years of audiovisual experience with the creation and production of the most innovative formats.

"We have proposed new lines of business because our background shows that we have done things correctly and that generates confidence in the brands, now they know us," says Piquer. The club, focused on a first stage in the evangelization of this industry, has nine sponsors at different levels in this phase in which "there are still no large purchase operations in the sector, most of the players are building the environment to be sustainable".

For the moment, Movistar Riders is thinking of opening up to more shareholders in the future, in which it is studying "two or three projects" in which it wants to invest. But it will not be in the short term. "Now I prefer not to enter the circle of investment rounds," says the executive, who insists on supporting that sustainability today. Piquer is clear that there will be time to do it. "eSports have opened a path of no return for people who consume content on platforms other than the traditional ones with new habits that are going to be maintained... The problem for the future is going to be more with football than eSports, we are closer of entertainment culture," he concludes.

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