Guild Esports, the London-based esports organisation backed by David Beckham, has spoken confidently about its upcoming academy launch, saying it could be the biggest thing in UK esports for some time.
The Guild Academy – set to launch this quarter – will be an online portal and ‘physical athlete-development system’ closely modelled on the success of the Premier League and inspired by David Beckham, who’s been involved in its creation and development.
It aims to foster a global fanbase for the organisation, attract talented gamers and mentor them, as well as provide a ‘world-class’ training system including coaching, guidance on nutrition, exercise and psychological support.
“We envisage the scale and quality of the online and physical academy resources to set the gold standard in the esports industry and enable Guild to stand out from the crowd,” Guild said in an AGM Q&A document on its investor relations web page, as covered by Adam Fitch for Dexerto.
“Our aim is to create a flourishing grassroots following that will expand our fanbase globally, provide a growing pool of talent at an early stage and establish a sustainable asset base of players for the company.
“The academy system will bring in a young player base and nurture them over a prolonged period of time – which allows for sustained exposure to the Guild brand and its sponsors.
“The scale and quality of our academy system will be much greater than any other esports team organisation, and this vision is already being recognised by major sponsors such as Subway. In the medium to long term, we will introduce other revenue generating opportunities surrounding the Guild Academy.”
Guild also said it expects to sell or transfer some of its academy players, as part of its long-term goal and business model behind the academy system.
Grant Rousseau, director of esports at Guild, told The Loadout: “I think it’s crazy exciting. If you’re from the UK, I think the academy will be the biggest thing to happen to UK esports for a very long time.
“I’ve seen what we’re building and I promise you this is unlike anything you’ve seen. And for that reason, I’m so excited to finally build a generation of UK talent which has been my goal from the start.
“I think what we’re trying to build here is unlike anything I’ve seen in esports, at least in Europe, in terms of an academy system that is treating it like football or traditional sport. We are going to raise the next generation of talent from a young age, and build them all the way up into professional players.”
In Guild’s AGM Q&A, the org also revealed that ‘typically between 80% and 90% of prize money [won by its players] accrues to the players and the balance comes to Guild’.
Guild recently signed Nikita ‘Nihachu’ Sembowski has a content creator, bringing the total viewership of the Guild network to 10.4m.
Guild said it expects to see further growth by recruiting top players, hiring more content creators, producing more content, winning tournaments, launching the academy and receiving support from David Beckham.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.