Having a name or a stadium so illustrious it can attract millions in outside investment is the dream of any sports team, yet it’s one that’s still reserved for household names like Real Madrid and Manchester United. So, when the popular British team Excel eSports managed to secure the king’s ransom in sponsorship from a pair of private equity companies, only one question seemed important enough to raise – who are Excel eSports?
Content and Talent Operations
Excel eSports is a British organization that competes in video game competitions, specifically, those based around Fortnite, League of Legends, and Valorant, though their performances and choice of players have earned Excel some criticism, according to dotesports.com. Excel eSports are arguably overshadowed by their existing backers, which include Chupa-Chups, BT, NEX Group founder Lord Spencer and former international footballer Dele Alli.
Now $23.7 million richer, thanks to the coffers of JRJ Group and TNF Investments, Excel ostensibly has the chance to alter its fortunes. The franchise plans to use a large chunk of the cash to open a new HQ in London to serve as the nexus of their content and talent operations. But, with a 70% growth in earnings expected by 2025, in hindsight, their new home could be the least of their achievements going forward.
Why is Excel attracting so much money? From the perspective of an investor, the team’s potential and ‘newness’ is arguably more important than its current value. Excel, currently, is worth up to $118 million, a figure that is likely to balloon in the future. The possible rewards on such future numbers speak for themselves. However, Excel’s prospects will grow in tandem with the wider eSports industry.
Massive almost from the point of inception, eSports now resembles many other conventional sports, as much in terms of its competition structure as its prize money and audiences. The presence of betting companies like win.gg in the niche, offering markets on Dota 2, CS: GO, and others, further legitimize what is still an up-and-coming spectacle. Considering the fact that eSports events already attract bigger audiences (84 million) than the MLB (79 million) and NBA (63 million), the potential for further expansion in audience numbers is staggering..
Despite heavy investment in Excel, though, British eSports isn’t without its problems. As reported on esportsinsider.com, local team Guild eSports posted a $5.9 million loss over the six months to the end of March 2021, for instance, with prize money of just $392,565 and income from sponsorships at $80,277. Guild eSports representatives claim that much of its expenditure went into expansion, a scenario borne out of an earlier investment.
With its own development plans in motion, Excel may be looking at a similar financial hit in the short term, though, as one of the biggest teams in the UK, its ability to rebound is less of a question than Guild’s, which also posted a loss in the year to September 2020. Guild executive Carleton Curtis suggested that the organization’s future profitability could hinge on “big swings” – presumably, risks.
In any case, it could be an interesting few years for British eSports, as investment cash keeps the country’s eSports dreams alive.
Financial figures converted to USD.