Guild jumps into the esports game with a big splash thanks to David Beckham
Academy model will discover and nurture new talent.
One of most recognized athletes in history has decided to jump into the world of esports. Soccer icon David Beckham has taken a chunk of his not-inconsiderable fortune and sunk it into the United Kingdom startup Guild Esports, which officially launched today.
In addition to Beckham’s DB Ventures, initial investment has come from Blue Star Capital. Blue Star also owns a stake in Canada-based the Drops Esports, and Dynasty ESports of Singapore.
Beckham rose to mega-fame as a member of Manchester United, and went on to play a high-profile role with Real Madrid and the LA Galaxy. He is currently a co-owner of Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami.
No doubt hoping to capitalize on Beckham’s status as a global superstar, Guild Esports is looking to raise US$31 million in financing.
Using an academy model, the organization will scout and sign talent to compete in Fortnite, FIFA, and Rocket League, with plans to have a pro team to field this fall.
A lifestyle brand
In a press release announcing the launch, Beckham said, “Throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough to work with players at the top of their game, and I’ve seen first-hand the passion and dedication it takes to play at that level. I know that determination lives in our esports athletes today and at Guild we have a vision to set a new standard, supporting these players into the future.”
Guild Esports executive chairman Carleton Curtis noted that plans are to grow the organization into a lifestyle brand, including an apparel line. That strategy has proven insanely successful for gold-standard esports operations like 100 Thieves.
Bridging the gap
Helping Guild forge a visual identity will be Fergus Purcell, whose successes include Palace skatewear. Guild’s major goals also include working “to bridge the gap between sports and esports”.
Curtis, whose esports CV includes stints with both Activision Blizzard and Red Bull, added in the release: “At Guild Esports, David will be instrumental in helping shape the coaching programme implemented at our academies and we welcome his valuable mentoring as well as the inspiration he gives the younger generation of athletes. Esports is already one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth and will continue to grow globally as excitement, accessibility and knowledge of the sector soars.”
Having enjoyed a major boom during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, ESports is expected to generate $US1.1 billion in revenue this year.