German soccer team FC Schalke 04 -- currently playing in Germany's top division, the Bundesliga -- has completed the takeover of pro League of Legends team, Elements.
The move emphasizes the growing potential and popularity of eSports, which, according to a new report by analyst Newzoo, will this year draw in an audience of over 140 million viewers.
"We have noticed that the level of professionalism in eSports has continued to grow over the past years," said Moritz Beckers-Schwarz, chairman of the board at FC Schalke 04 Arena Management.
"Particularly noteworthy is the development of structures within League of Legends and the flagship League of Legends Championship."
Preserving and building on eSports' growing reputation as a professional pursuit is the priority of the newly formed World Esports Association (WESA).
Announced by leading eSports league, the ESL, last week, and formed in partnership with a number of high-profile teams, WESA is a new regulatory body tasked with governing and standardizing the increasingly complex world of digital sports.
"WESA will introduce elements of player representation, standardized regulations, and revenue shares for teams," reads a statement on the WESA website.
"It will seek to create predictable schedules for fans, players, organizers and broadcasters, and for the first time, bring all stakeholders to the discussion table."