Beckham-backed e-sports HQ opens for gaming in London

·2 min read
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(Supplied)

A first-of-its-kind e-sports HQ backed by David Beckham and complete with an academy to bring on the best young talent has opened its doors in east London.

Guild Esports has taken over a former artists studio in Shoreditch to train the stars of tomorrow. The building, which includes a gym, meeting rooms, shop, classrooms and space for counsellors and physios, was inspired by the academies run by Premier League football clubs.

Flora Sharpe from design firm Thirdway said the building has to work for everyone from young trainees to veteran players.

She said: “To the client, their HQ didn’t just need to be ‘cool’ — it needed to be more than just a hub for gamers. It needed to be ‘the forge where champions are made.’ So that’s what we set out to deliver.”

E-sports — or professional videogaming — has witnessed a boom in recent years with events drawing huge crowds to major stadiums as well as pulling in massive international audiences watching online through apps such as Twitch.

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(Supplied)

It is so successful it has drawn in mainstream brands from Gucci to CocaCola as sponsors and was even showcased at the Commonwealth Games last year with a pilot event in Birmingham. Its international market is estimated to be worth as much as £1.4 billion by 2025 and last year two of the biggest tournament operators in the business were bought out by a group backed by the Saudi Arabian government who said they were prepared to spend £31 billion to transform the Middle-Eastern country into a global hub.

Matthew Charles, operations director at Guild Esports which counts Beckham among its shareholders, said: “In addition to nurturing new talent and providing state-of-the-art training facilities for our pro teams, we are also expanding our brand and unlocking a range of commercialisation opportunities.

“Our new London HQ, developed by the Thirdway team and project managed by Making Moves Technical, is a physical representation of our personality and the perfect way to continue building our brand in the market.”

For more information on Thirdway visit www.thirdway.com