Guild Esports (GILD) has signed Nicolas Villalba, an Argentinian FIFA player known as “Nicolas99fc” who is ranked a top three FIFA player worldwide, as the newest member of its FIFA roster.
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 Nicolas Villalba is Argentina’s second highest earner within 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.”
He will join Niklas Raseck (“Nraseck”) on the Guild 2022 FIFA roster and will be competing in the 1vs 1 FIFA Global Series as well the FIFAe Club Series, a new professional 2v2 format.
Guild believes Nicolas will further strengthen its position as one of the top teams in Europe.
The Group explained that Nicolas has a combined social media following of over 170,000 across his social media channels. His following comprises 67,500 followers on Twitch, 55,000 followers on Twitter, 27,800 followers on Instagram as well as 21,000 YouTube subscribers.
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.
Kal Hourd, Chief Executive of Guild Esports, said: “We are so pleased to welcome Nicolas to Guild and support his move to the U.K. to further develop his skills and talent as a player through our academy system. FIFA is a highly significant esport for Guild’s pipeline of sponsors and partners and we are delighted to be strengthening our position in the European rankings with Nicolas, one of the most consistently high-performing players within FIFA.”
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.