David Beckham’s e-sports team Guild to float in London

David Beckham’s e-sports company is to list on the London Stock Exchange this autumn, raising £20m at a valuation of £50m.

If successful, Guild Esports would become the first company of its kind to float in London.

Former England captain Beckham is an original shareholder of the group, which was founded in September and launched competitively three months ago.

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“The move comes as esports benefits from a rapidly growing fan base worldwide with some tournaments attracting a bigger audience than the Wimbledon tennis championships, Tour de France and the US Open,” said the company.

E-sports is a growing sector, with last year’s Fortnite World Cup — a battle royale-style online multiplayer game — issuing $30m in prize money.

Guild Esports said it will use the cash to recruit new players, creating a player training and scouting infrastructure modelled on talent academies operated by Premier League football teams.

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To date it has raised £5m in private funding, with plans to become one of the top 10 e-sports teams in the world.

Guild said it initially plans to set up and field dedicated teams to compete in four online games: Fortnite, CS:Go, Rocket League and Fifa.

“Guild will be the first esports franchise to join the London stock market, which will provide us with the cache, credibility and capital to fulfil our ambition to become one of the world’s top 10 e-sports franchises within three years,” said Guild’s executive chairman Carleton Curtis.

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