Guild Esports announce job cuts and £5m loss in latest financial update as staff move into new London office

Guild Esports Logo

Guild Esports, the UK-based esports organisation backed by David Beckham, have announced they made a £4.96m loss before tax for the six months ending March 31st 2022.

They’ve also lowered staff numbers in the last few months, saying that they’ve been ‘right-sizing staff numbers from an average of 45 at the end of March 2022 to 30 at present’.

Guild said in this morning’s financial update:

“While the company’s long-term prospects are underpinned by favourable industry fundamentals, the board is mindful of the continuing cash requirements of the business in the light of growing global economic uncertainty and challenging capital market conditions.

“As a result of growing economic uncertainty and challenging market conditions, significant action was taken in the first half to streamline the company’s cost base. These measures include a rationalisation of suppliers and right-sizing staff numbers.”

Guild Esports

“In addition, the company is also generating greater efficiencies as it gains operational scale following its transition from start-up phase to becoming an established esports organisation. As a result, the company expects to reduce its cost base by approximately 20% from the second half of 2022, without jeopardising the value offered to its sponsors and partners.”

The org said the loss increasing to £4.96m from the previous half-year loss of £4.28m ‘reflects investment in teams and operational staff, corporate infrastructure, Guild Academy and content creation, to support growth and establish Guild as a leading global esports teams organisation’.

Revenues during the period rose 195% to £1.09m, with growth in sponsorship income, while net cash currently stands at £3.5m.

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Back in January, Guild Esports posted a loss in their first full year of operations, and outlined their plan to be ‘the largest provider of school-based learning for esports through 2022’.

Some of those who recently announced they had chosen to depart Guild included entrepreneur and Young STEM Personality of the Year Callum Daniel and Guild’s former director of esports Grant Rousseau.

Guild expect more growth ‘with more than 30’ prospective sponsorship deals in the works

guild subway fifa 22 cup
Guild have a partnership with Subway which resulted in a golden sub esports trophy

Guild Esports said this morning they’re ‘on track to deliver further strong revenue growth’ in the second half of their financial year, compared with the first half, driven by previously signed sponsorship deals.

Guild added that ‘more than 30 prospective sponsorship deals are in various stages of development, of which several potential deals are in advanced discussions with a range of brand owners and advertisers from multiple sectors’.

Potential new partners include beverage, media and telecoms, consumer electronics and gaming/esports brands.

The org signed two new sponsorship agreements during the first half of its current financial year. In January 2022, Guild clinched their biggest sponsorship deal with a £4.5m three-year agreement with Bitstamp, the blue-chip crypto exchange. This was followed by a two-year deal with Razer Gaming Chairs.

These two sponsors joined Subway, Samsung and Hyper X, who became Guild partners last year.

Guild terminated a £3.6m three-year sponsorship deal in October 2021, however the org said the aborted deal was ‘more than offset’ with the Bitstamp deal.

Total contracted sponsorship revenue currently stands at £8.56m, up from £8.4m as of January 31st 2022, spread over the lifetime of contracts signed to date.

Guild staff move into new London office

The creation of a physical site for the Guild Academy and global HQ in London’s tech area of Shoreditch became reality yesterday (June 29th 2022).

A 10-year lease for the new Guild office was announced in January. Guild said today that the premises are now fully operational with staff due to complete their move-in by today (June 30th).

The organisation plan to hold a grand opening of the site later this year, pending the conclusion of discussions over the naming rights to the HQ and Academy with potential sponsors.

Guild have also formed partnerships with local schools and colleges, to work with students and demonstrate the benefits of the professional world of esports through the Guild Academy system, which was announced a year ago.

Alongside in-person sessions with Guild’s pro coaches, Guild says that the schools academy will also educate children on all of the factors that go into becoming a professional esports athlete, including proper nutrition and physical fitness. The digital sessions will also teach children how to stay safe online.

Guild’s esports updates in late 2021 and early 2022

guild esports jersey 2022

Guild won a couple of esports tournaments during the six months ending March 31st 2022, including the Fortnite Champion Series Grand Royale in November and Fortnite Champion Series EU Final in March, won by Guild player Hen.

And last month, after this period, Guild Esports’ Nicolas99fc won the FIFA eChampions League.

Guild announced a women’s Valorant team, Guild X, last September, and their main Guild Valorant team recently qualified for the Valorant Masters LAN in Copenhagen, which takes place this July.

As of March 31st 2022, Guild’s total pro player roster was 21 compared with 17 at the same time last year.

The other day, Guild also left Apex Legends.

“We decided to exit Apex Legends after evaluating that it did not offer sufficiently attractive commercial options at present,” the org said.

Guild’s audience, shares and board member departs

Guild’s audience for the six months ending March 31st 2022 peaked at 22m, averaging approximately 16m during the period.

“The company is broadly on track to achieve an audience network of between 25-30 million as previously announced by the end of 2022,” Guild said in their financial update.

Guild also announced that David Gardner has stepped down as a non-executive director with immediate effect to pursue his other business interests. Gardner is apparently a close associate of David Beckham’s, who helps take care of Beckham’s business ventures.

‘We look to the future with confidence’ – Guild CEO Kal Hourd

Commenting on today’s results, Guild Esports CEO Kal Hourd said: “Guild have achieved strong revenue growth in the first half as we benefitted from the hard work and investment made in the business during our maiden year of operations in 2021.

“Our pipeline of potential partners and sponsors continues to strengthen, and the momentum gained in the first half has positioned Guild for an even stronger second half.

“We have also crossed another significant milestone with the opening of our new global HQ and Academy, which will provide further commercial opportunities to drive growth and create shareholder value.

“Our esports teams remain at the top of their game and consistently qualify for major competitions, thereby gaining the attention and interest of fans and brands across the esports universe, and we look to the future with confidence.”

Related article: Guild unveil new jersey inspired by street art, American football and esports as part of ‘major year’ for UK org

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