Guild Esports is an esports firm backed by David
Beckham. It is the first of its kind to get listed on the London Stock
Exchange. The firm’s valuation is around £40 ($52 million).
In its initial public offering, Guild Esports raised £20
million. However, shares dropped about 7.63% on Friday. Prior to its stock
market debut, the company had estimated an initial public offering of £20 (about
$26 million), with a valuation of £50 million ($65 million).
The company said the public listing will help it “raise
the public profile” and generate more funds for the “company’s expansion and long-term
growth.” In its initial IPO announcement, Guild said roughly 40% of its shares
will be made available through its listing.
Guild Esports is designed to accommodate a global esports team
that can participate in competitions and win prizes, including cash. The firm
hopes to create a platform where talented gamers can earn millions of cash
rewards each year through competitions, sponsorship deals, events, and
The esports firm says its “inaugural team” will debut
this fall, and also enter competitions for several games including EA Sports
FIFA, Rocket League, and Fortnite, among others.
Former soccer star, David Beckham who co-owns Inter
Miami CF, a Major League Soccer team, also owns 4.78% of Guild. Toro
Consulting, Blue Star Capital, and Pioneer Media Holdings own the rest of the
“Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to work
with players at the top of their game, and I’ve seen firsthand the passion and
dedication it takes to play at that level,” said Beckham at the Guild launch
event in June.
In his speech, Beckham further added that the same
determination that lives with professional soccer players also lives with
esports teams. “… at Guild we have a vision to set a new standard, supporting
these players into the future.” He said the esports firm is committed to “nurturing
and encouraging” young talent through its “academy systems.”
Guild Esports executive chairman Carleton Curtis said
that a public listing will provide the company “with the cache, credibility and
capital” to fulfill all it needs to become one of the global top 10 esports
franchises in the space of three years.
Over the last decade, esports has become more
lucrative as more and more talents get on board. The video gaming industry as a
whole saw a surge amid the coronavirus as more people resulted to video games
to keep themselves when the stay home orders went into effect.
On the global level, esports is valued at $1.1
billion, with estimations to grow 42% to $1.56 billion over the next three
years, according to gaming analyst Newzoo.