UK-based esports organisation Excel Esports will become the new neighbours of local rivals Fnatic after announcing a new HQ in Shoreditch, London, as well as £17m in funding.
This new office will open later this summer and serve as an addition to Excel Esports’ Twickenham Stadium training facilities and Berlin-based player training facilities, which will continue to be used by the org. Excel also has plans to ‘launch its operations into other new territories’.
The Shoreditch headquarters will act as a central hub to Excel’s business operations and will be used for talent streams, content production and community, partner and media events. It will also be home to its growing workforce, with key hires across its commercial, creative, content, marketing and operations departments.
Fnatic opened its Shoreditch HQ four years ago and recently announced several new Fnatic facilities that are on the way – including another in Berlin.
The two companies are the biggest League of Legends team organisations based in the UK, and both currently compete in the European LEC. Esports News UK has reached out to Excel and Fnatic to ask about their thoughts on being based so close to one another.
The news comes as Excel secures €20m (£17m) in new equity capital. The financing round was led by investment firm JRJ Group, which first acquired a majority shareholding in 2018 alongside TOMS Capital LLC, the family office of Noam Gottesman.
Amongst the new investors joining them are IPGL Ltd, the family office of Michael Spencer; the family office of Alan Howard; and the international private equity firm TNF Investments. They join existing Excel Esports owners Guinevere Capital, whose MD Dave Harris welcomed the news.
This investment builds on Excel’s recent success, which, according to a press release, has seen revenues more than triple in 2020 following their first year in the LEC.
A report by Sky Sports claimed that Excel said its fans had an average age of 32 and household income of £55,000, which drew some criticism on social media.
With the capital raised, Excel says it will ‘continue to grow its talent line-up as well as expand into more esports titles’, beyond its existing core of League of Legends, Fortnite and Valorant.
“Attracting and developing the best talent that the industry has to offer is central to Excel’s competitive ambitions,” the org said.
Excel will further bolster its infrastructure, launching its operations into new territories and developing its website XL.gg. It also hopes to develop commercial propositions for its partners in the UK and international markets.
Excel hinted at the new HQ in a partner reveal with AndaSeat last month. Other recent partners include Chupa Chups and Sony Mobile.
Last November, Excel unveiled a new logo, ambassador Dele Alli and ‘The Power of Better’ vision.
Wouter Sleijffers, CEO of Excel, commented: “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 Excel 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.”
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.