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Ex-professional footballer David Beckham, clearly not content with just taking it easy after a wildly successful career as an industry leading ball-kicker, has been announced as the co-owner of a brand new UK based esports team.
As reported by Gamesindustry.biz, Golden Balls himself (is he still called that?) is a partner of the startup team Guild Esports. Blue Star Capital are also in as early investors in the team which was announced this week. The investment company pride themselves on turning profits on sustainable businesses in new technology, so you'd hope this joint venture will be a fruitful one.
It's reported (on Esports Insider) that Beckham, via DB Ventures, and Blue Star are targeting £25 million in fundraising for Guild Esports, which is currently underway, with Blue Star investing £480,000 for an 11.7% stake in the company.
Don't expect to see too much of Guild Esports on the competitive scene just yet though. The startup is reported to be following the academy model, which will see them scouting and nurturing rising talent to compete in games like FIFA, Rocket League and Fortnite, rather than poaching from the current crop of talented players.
Indeed, the company says they will be looking to find "the most able players" and have them scouted to be "coached and nurtured by industry leaders."
Guild Esports' executive chairman Carleton Curtis - who at one time was an executive of Activision Blizzard and was partly responsible for the creation of the Overwatch League and Call of Duty leagues - spoke about the news in a statement.
"We have built an experienced management team and I am proud to have David Beckham as co-owner in this venture. His professionalism and deep experience of developing high-functioning sports teams aligns with our core strategy of building the best in class esports teams."
Beckham himself also issued a press release following the news. "Throughout my career I've been lucky enough to work with players at the top of their game, and I've seen first-hand the passion and dedication it takes to play at that level. I know that determination lives in our esports athletes today and at Guild we have a vision to set a new standard, supporting these players into the future. We are committed to nurturing and encouraging youth talent through our academy systems and I am looking forward to helping our Guild Esports team grow."
While most people will know Beckham for his work on the pitch, he's built up multiple successful sports enterprises off it. He is the owner of professional American team Inter Miami, who play in the country's football league the MLS, as well as being part-owner of Salford City Football Club here in the UK.
Guild Esports are taking a slow and steady approach to getting themselves established in the world of competitive gaming, and it's expected that their first professional team will be competing by around Autumn 2020.
Featured Image Credit: PA / EA
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