David Beckham is venturing into the eSports industry by investing in a new UK-based industry related start-up company called Guild Esports. The company aims to raise EUR 25 million as online leagues and players are now drawing huge interest as a result of the current coronavirus outbreak.
Guild Esports is helmed by Carleton Curtis, a former Activision Blizzard executive who was also responsible for forming the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty league during his time with the company. He previously held senior roles at Red Bull Esports and Fox Sports as well.
“We have built an experienced management team and I am proud to have David Beckham as co-owner in this venture,” Curtis said in a statement. “His professionalism and deep experience of developing high-functioning sports teams aligns with our core strategy of building the best in class esports teams.”
The London-based Guild Esports is seeking a valuation of approximately EUR 100 million following its 25 million fundraising. It will be based around an academy model, scouting and nurturing talents to form competitive teams. The company stated that its teams will focus on several games including Rocket League, EA Sports FIFA and Fortnite.
Guild Esports also hopes to draw on Beckham’s global appeal to generate sponsorship income. The former Manchester United and England football player is the owner of US-based Major League Soccer team Inter Miami, his own eyewear franchise, and the Haig Club whisky brand. “At Guild we have a vision to set a new standard, supporting these players into the future,” said Beckham in a statement.
The company is planning to debut its first professional eSports team to compete this year, starting in autumn.