Guild Esports Plc, the London-based esports organisation, is famous for counting David Beckham among its investors. With teams playing in FIFA and Rocket League, and an intention to quickly expand into Fortnite and CS:GO, Guild is also emphasising its academy system with a view to finding the stars of the future.

Aside from receiving investment from a footballing legend, what sets this esports organisation apart is that it was the first of its kind to join the London Stock Exchange ("LSE") when it floated last week with a market capitalisation of £41.2 million.

Jamie Peel from Zeus Capital, which took Guild public alongside Mirabaud Securities, commented: “The gaming industry has exploded in popularity, with esports quickly becoming a mainstream form of entertainment. This is only expected to accelerate in the coming years, and with a hugely experienced and high-quality management team, the firm has already generated significant investor appetite.”

While Guild is the first esports franchise to join the LSE, esports initial public offerings ("IPOs") have been on the rise since 2019 when Astralis Group AS raised over £18 million on flotation in Denmark. In recent times, these IPOS have boomed, as companies turn to equity finance to survive market waters troubled by the pandemic.

As a whole, the global esports market is projected to grow to 646 million viewers by 2023, from 443 million last year. Guild claims that several esports tournaments already attract more viewers than traditional sports tournaments, like Wimbledon and the Tour de France. Guild's flotation is another sign (if one was even needed), that the esports gold rush is well and truly underway.

On a related note, last week, Lewis Silkin's Alex Kelham and JJ Shaw delivered a webinar covering the legal framework of, and opportunities in, esports , Esports: Beyond the game – opportunities and challenges for brands. If you wish to obtain a copy of the recording, please email