Driving this growth are high-profile esports entrepreneurs building businesses across a wide range of areas, including artificial intelligence for skills improvement and developing competitive strategy, performance-focused nutrition and exercise businesses, video game hardware, esports teams, commercial space hire and creative production services; not forgetting the tournament organisers building the leagues esports are played in.
Britain plays host to a number of teams, including the Shoreditch-based EXCEL ESPORTS. EXCEL has grown from a bedroom-based operation founded by Kieran Holmes-Darby and his brother Joel at University, into a globally recognized esports brand, which continues to build an inclusive roster of esports competitors whilst expanding internationally with a new HQ in Berlin.
Innovators such as EXCEL are part of a thriving scene of entrepreneurs who are building on the UK’s gaming heritage to accelerate the growth of the video game industry. And that’s why HSBC has become EXCEL ESPORTS’ Official Financial Services Partner and Financial Health Provider. This two-year partnership will help the UK gaming and esports community to build financial health, make better financial decisions and improve their financial literacy.
“There’s always been competitive video gaming, but esports saw a particular injection of growth in the UK through the globalisation and expansion of major video games and esports franchises like Call of Duty, CS: GO, FIFA and the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) which was founded by Riot Games,” says Ed Cave, Associate Director, HSBC Private Banking.
“Several UK teams have competed, including EXCEL. Since then, they’ve grown from being run by two brothers, to getting private equity investment, and then owning their own training facility in London – that's happened very quickly. It's been enabled by the franchise leagues, which provide reliability to game schedules and revenue streams. It’s really helped esports grow, and could impact how traditional sports leagues are structured going forward.”
By taking video games from the bedroom to arenas and live streaming platforms worldwide, esports has significantly transformed and widened potential market opportunities. Investment interest continues to grow as a result.
In part two of this series, we’ll next look at the growth of the wider video games industry, and examine the burgeoning use of video game technology within businesses seemingly unrelated to games.
HSBC Private Banking specialises in keeping investors and entrepreneurs up to date with the important trends shaping future industries. If you are interested in discussing technology investment opportunities, please contact your Relationship Manager.