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David Beckham invests in e-sports with London-based startup Guild

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Former England soccer captain David Beckham is moving into the virtual world as co-owner of London-based startup Guild Esports.

[LONDON] Former England soccer captain David Beckham is moving into the virtual world as co-owner of London-based startup Guild Esports.

Guild said in a statement on Thursday that it will launch player academies and run teams in various e-sports arenas including Rocket League, EA Sports, FIFA and Fortnite.

"We have a vision to set a new standard, supporting these players into the future," said Mr Beckham, who is also co-owner of Major League Soccer's Inter Miami.

"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," added the 45-year-old.

The Financial Times reported that Mr Beckham was taking a significant minority stake in Guild through DB Ventures, his personal investment vehicle, and would be the second biggest shareholder.

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It said Guild Esports was seeking a valuation of around £100 million (S$173.4 million) following a £25 million fundraising.

"David will be instrumental in helping shape the coaching programme implemented at our academies and we welcome his valuable mentoring as well as the inspiration he gives the younger generation of athletes," said Guild executive chairman Carleton Curtis.

E-sports has enjoyed a boom during the global Covid-19 lockdown.

According to analytics platform Newzoo, the global e-sports market will generate revenues of US$1.10 billion in 2020 and US$1.56 billion by 2023.

REUTERS

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