Excel Esports, the UK-based esports operation, has completed a $23.4 million financing round which will support the organisation’s expansion plans and the creation of a new London-based headquarters.
The funding round was led by private equity firm JRJ Group, which acquired a majority shareholding in the organisation, alongside Toms Capital LLC, the US-based fund management company, back in 2018.
The proceeds will help Excel improve its infrastructure, launch "operations into new territories" and develop digital platform XL.gg.
The new headquarters will be located in Shoreditch in East London and are expected to open this summer. The premises will be used for talent streams and content production, as well as partner and media events.
Wouter Sleijffers, chief executive of Excel Esports, said: “Together with our investors, I’m truly excited to be entering the next chapter, building on Excel’s legacy and realising our shared vision for the future of esports and gaming. In a very short space of time, Excel has cemented itself at the top of British esports attracting significant support from investors, partners, our ambassador Dele Alli, and all on and off-stage talent.
“We now have all the elements in place to aim for more, to go from a household name in UK esports to an internationally recognised, diverse British gaming brand with the ability to derive maximum value from ongoing sector expansion and the growing digitisation of consumer behaviour.”
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In other developments in the past week, GameSquare Esports, the Canada-based esports organisation, acquired Complexity Gaming, the esports franchise, for $26.7 million.
It is understood that the deal is an all-stock transaction, with Complexity owners Jerry Jones, Jason Lake and John Goff set to own around 47 per cent of GameSquare.
It is claimed the acquisition will see GameSquare drive Complexity into the "next phase" of growth.
Justin Kenna, chief executive of GameSquare Esports, said: “Complexity has built a tremendous foundation that is perfectly positioned for its next phase of growth and profitability. We see huge potential to monetise the incredible content that Complexity creates every year and numerous opportunities to create merchandise that allow fans to show their loyalty to one of America’s greatest esports teams.”
Off the back of the deal, Lake will become the global head of esports at GameSquare Esports, whist remaining chief executive of Complexity Gaming.
Lake said: “Complexity is already one of the most renowned esports brands in the world. Gaining access to GameSquare’s wealth of experience and resources will lead us through the next phase of growth. We’re fully committed to building on our player-first mentality and winning more championships for our fans while expanding our brand internationally.”
Elsewhere Ultimate Tournament eSportsbook, the esports betting operator, has become the newest anti-corruption supporter of the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC).
Under the agreement, Ultimate Tournament will work alongside ESIC in investigations relating to suspicious betting activity.
In addition, the betting operator will endorse ESIC’s efforts against match-fixing and betting fraud within the esports industry.
Ultimate Tournament joins Cyber.Bet, Oddin, Midnite, Parimatch, Betway, Rivalry, Sky Bet and Unikrn as supporters of the ESCI mission.