In a move that highlights the extent of the sometimes quiet growth of eSports, UK company Gfinity is preparing to float.
City AM reports that the Kingston outfit hopes to raise around 3m in the process, based on a supposed market value of around 13m. The move will leave founder Neville Upton with a shareholding of around 20 per cent.
It will also lead to the construction of the UK's first dedicated eSports arena, that will sit 500 people, in London.
The growth across the whole market is just phenomenal but we need funding to accelerate our own growth,” Upton said. The money will pay for us to build an eSports Arena, the first ever in the UK, and provide competitions on a regular basis. There's only two other major global providers of eSports: MLG in the US and ESL in Germany.
This float will give us enough firepower to be on their scale and hopefully build up a reputation for our competitions. We launched our new tournament platform in June and we've already got over 270,000 people registered. We are getting around 30,000 new subscribers a month.”
Gfinity last week announced that in 2015 it will host 30 offline events between March and September culminating in the Gfinity Championship 2015 LAN that will take place at one of the biggest arenas in the UK, marking the event as Europe's largest multi-title eSports event of all time”.
There will be over $500k in prize money available throughout the season.
Added the company: We think it's time that eSports players were treated like the athletes they are. To ensure that this is the case, we're proud to announce that all travel and accommodation costs for the Gfinity Major Tournaments will be paid for by Gfinity.”
Former Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton joined the Gfinity board in September.