Blue Star Capital PLC (LON:BLU) said its investee company, Guild Esports PLC, has announced its global launch and an association with David Beckham as it looks to develop a pipeline of esports player talent in the UK.
Beckham and Blue Star have both taken part in a £25mln fundraising by Guild, with Blue Star investing £480,000 at 6p per share to maintain its 11.7% stake.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid winger's private funding vehicle DB Ventures will be Guild’s second-biggest shareholder with his move into esports “a natural progression”, according to Guild, given his experience as a co-owner of Inter Miami football club in the MLS.
“His involvement in the launch of Guild is a significant opportunity to introduce his level of professional sports acumen to the world of esports and further strengthen this evolving sport,” Blue Star said.
Guild is planning to coach esports players through an academy model to provide them will the skills to compete professionally and will also use a roster of scouts to continually find and sign new talent.
The esports outfit’s management team is also comprised of several esports veterans, with Guild’s executive chairman, Carleton Curtis, the architect of the Overwatch League and Call Of Duty Leagues and formerly a senior esports executive at developer Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Red Bull.
Blue Star said Guild intends to develop various esports disciplines over the 2020/21 season, with its first team making their debut in autumn 2020 and are expected to compete in multiple titles including Rocket League, FIFA and Fortnite.
To develop its brand identity, Guild has employed artist Fergus Purcell, creator of the identity for skatewear label Palace.
"We are very pleased to announce today's news from Guild regarding its global launch and the association with David Beckham. The team behind Guild is incredibly strong and gives us great confidence that the company has an exciting future," said Blue Star chief executive Tony Fabrizi.