London-based start-up Guild Esports has received backing from David Beckham as it seeks £25m in fundraising. The investment comes as online gaming leagues and players hope to build on the huge interest that has been captured during the lockdown.
Prior to the pandemic, PwC forecasted that esports revenues would rise from £800m last year to 1.46bn by 2023, a figure that it has since described as “understated” because of the interest garnered during the pandemic. That said, the industry does remain small when measured against traditional sports.The news is the latest in a line of reports that show the convergence of esports and traditional sports.
Firstly, the business will sign up gamers and use lessons from traditional sport to coach them and compete for prize money in Rocket League, EA Sports’ Fifa, and Fortnite. This will increase both the professionalism of the process, as well as create a structure more akin to what traditional sports fans are used to.
Secondly, Guild Esports hope to draw on Beckham’s global appeal to generate sponsorship income. Similarly, Gareth Bale launched E11evens Esports earlier in the year in partnership with 38 Entertainment Group.
However, the greatest legacy of this investment will be the attention that it brings to Esports. Guild will become the subject of the mainstream media rather than just Esports publications. The investment from Beckham may bring Esports into everyday life.
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