Esports is coming to a stadium near you. At least, if you live in the United Kingdom.
Gfinity plans to build an esports specific arena capable of seating 500 spectators, funded by a public listing on the stock exchange.
The company has grown into the United Kingdom’s largest event organizer, most recently hosting Gfinity 3 in August with over $55,000 in prizes at the Copperbox Arena in London. A dedicated arena should allow it to continue to produce high quality events with increasing regularity.
Gfinity plans to fund the stadium with an IPO on London’s AIM that it hopes will raise £3m million (about $4.71 million). The company holds an estimated value of £13m million (around $20 million).
“The growth across the whole market is just phenomenal but we need funding to accelerate our own growth,” Neville Upton, Gfinity founder, said in an interview with City A.M. “The money will pay for us to build an eSports Arena, the first ever in the UK, and provide competitions on a regular basis.”
Upton aims to raise Gfinity’s global presence and potentially challenge Major League Gaming in the US and the Electronic Sports League in Europe as the premiere esports providers on the planet. He says the funding will give Gfinity the “firepower to be their scale.”
According to City A.M., former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio will take a one percent stake in the company when it goes public. He’s following the advice of another sports star, this one from across the Atlantic.
Basketball star Roy Hibbert showed his esports during the Major League Gaming Columbus Open 25k this weekend, presumably as one of the 200,000 people watching the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare championship.
eSports is the next big thing. Invest invest invest!
— Roy Hibbert (@Roy_Meets_World) November 30, 2014
Esports is only growing. The time to invest is now, as Hibbert asserts, and Gfinity looks to be doing just that by building a physical infrastructure for it in the UK.