Blue Star Capital’s Guild Esports launches FIFA22 tournament with PlayStation

Post date Dec 2021

Guild Esports (GILD) has partnered with Sony’s PlayStation to create a FIFA22 tournament, ‘The Guild Academy Challenge’ which will take place over three days starting from today.

Guild Esports, which is co-owned by David Beckham and last year became the first esport organisation to list on London’s stock exchange, said the event is open for participation to all PlayStation 4 FIFA22 players across Europe through the PlayStation online gaming network. 

The London-listed company, which is the first UK-listed esports organisation to be chosen by PlayStation as a partner for a tournament of this kind, told investors that it will give all entrants to The Guild Academy Challenge exclusive access to Guild’s online Academy for six months. 

Guild explained that the winner of the tournament will be given the opportunity to meet Guild’s professional players, receive professional online training sessions and win a PlayStation 5.  It said players will also be able to compete to win exclusive prizes from Guild and PlayStation.

Guild Esport’s Chief Executive, Kal Hourd, said the tournament with Playstation “builds on the success of previous years’ FIFA tournaments which attract thousands of entries each year.” 

He commented: “By connecting Guild with PlayStation, we expect to attract a significant number of students to our Guild Academy to support their growth and development.”

“This tournament complements the investment we have made in our FIFA esports team, enabling Guild to leverage the game’s vast and growing worldwide fanbase,” said Hourd, who added that the FIFA franchisee marks “a key part” of the company’s ongoing growth strategy.

Last week, Guild Esports announced that it had signed Nicolas Villalba, an Argentinian FIFA player known as “Nicolas99fc” as the newest member of its FIFA roster. Villalba is Argentina’s second highest earner in the esports gaming world with $290,000 in lifetime earnings to date. 

Nicolas has ranked in the top 3 FIFA players worldwide since 2018. To date, his most notable international Major wins include the FIFA 19 PS4 Playoffs and the FIFA 19 eClub World Cup.

Nicolas, who is from Argentina and has played for the Switzerland-based FC Basel 1893 E-sports, has signed a one-year contract with Guild with the option to renew for another year. 

The Company explained that he will be moving from Argentina to London in order to compete from Europe, one of the first moves of its kind in FIFA. Guild said Nicolas will benefit from its academy system and coaching, “with the aim of becoming the number 1 FIFA player globally.”

The FIFA series has been produced by EA SPORTS for over 20 years. To date, EA has recorded over 325 million total sales of FIFA in its 17-year history with EA Sports FIFA 21 recorded as the best-selling video game in the UK in 2020 according to EA Sports sources.

Guild Esport’s investors include London-listed Blue Star Capital. To date, the investment company, which is focused on investing in new technologies, has invested around £0.706 million in Guild Esports, and holds around a 5.95% of the issued share capital of Guild.   

Guild was admitted to the Official List and started trading on the standard segment of the London Stock Exchange in October 2020 to take advantage of the growing esports markets.   

Blue Star says the esports market is experiencing significant growth. In 2020 it was estimated at c.495m viewers and is projected to reach around 646 million viewers by 2023.  This is expected to result in revenues growing over the same period from $950m to $1.60bn.