Guild Esports, the organisation backed by footballing icon David Beckham, has finally revealed details on its promised academy system. Guild says the academy will “set the gold standard in the esports industry” and will launch in the second quarter of 2021.
In an investor Q&A document, spotted by Dexerto, Guild says that its academy system will consist of “an online portal” and a “physical athlete-development system that has been closely modelled on the success of the Premier League and inspired by David Beckham.” The former England international has also been “actively involved” in creating the academy system, according to Guild.
The online portal will provide gamers with resources to help their development. This will include gameplay coaching as well as guidance and training on aspects such as nutrition and psychological support. Guild’s headquarters will also be home to on-site facilities for “top academy players” to use.
Speaking to The Loadout, Guild’s director of esports, Grant Rousseau, says the academy will be industry-leading and will be key in developing top talent for Guild.
“I think what we’re trying to build here is unlike anything I’ve seen in esports, at least in Europe, in terms of an academy system that is treating it like football or traditional sport,” Rousseau says. “We are going to raise the next generation of talent from a young age, and build them all the way up into professional players, whether with Guild or with someone else, as that’s how academies work.”
This sentiment was also covered in the Q&A document, which says selling some of Guild’s academy prospects to other teams – a common practice in traditional sports – will become yet another revenue stream for the organisation.
It also says that “the scale and quality of our academy system will be much greater than any other esports team organisation.”
WE GOT IT DONE 👊
— GUILD (@guildesports) April 8, 2021
When asked which games will be focused on for Guild’s academy at launch, Rousseau admits the full scale is yet to be determined, but does reveal that at least the four titles Guild currently fields teams in – Fortnite, Rocket League, FIFA, and Valorant – will be covered.
He also says that while the academy system will act as a talent developer for Guild, it will also be a wider social experience for gamers of all levels.
“Whether you are a fan of an esport, whether you just [casually] play a game, or whether you want to play with friends, there’s going to be a format that works for everyone,” Rousseau says. “You don’t have to be or want to be a professional player – maybe you just want to get a little bit better at a game, or maybe you just want to hang with your friends. That for me is the most exciting thing that’s going to happen, keep an eye on that.”
With Guild’s academy launching soon, it will be intriguing to see how long it takes for the first batch of talent to emerge.
A full interview with Grant Rousseau, touching on not only the academy system but Guild’s rapid growth, future expansion, and more, will be coming to The Loadout later this week.