Gfinity (AIM: GFIN), a leading eSports business, is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with Vue Entertainment to launch the UK’s first premier eSports arena in London.
The agreement is a key part of the Company’s long term growth strategy to organise and host major live eSports tournaments and also to stream events to a global audience of fans through its online platform. Collaboration will launch the UK’s only dedicated eSports event space at Vue Fulham Broadway, London
By collaborating with Vue, the Company will be able to accelerate its plans to create a large and dedicated site in central London without incurring major upfront capital costs. In addition, Vue and Gfinity will work together to promote eSports events as well as explore the opportunity to roll-out other Vue locations – both in London and other city centres – in the future.
The agreement, facilitated by Gfinity’s sponsorship and broadcasting partner, Pitch International, will see part of the Vue Fulham Broadway multiplex transformed into a dedicated 600-capacity eSports venue, to be named the Gfinity Arena. Gfinity branding will be displayed prominently inside and outside the facility, which will have its own entrances, ticketing hall, automated ticket machines and confectionery stalls. Importantly, the arena will also have an online presence on Vue’s consumer-facing website, myvue.com.
The Gfinity Arena is scheduled to open in March for the start of the 2015 Gfinity Championships and will comprise 25 events culminating in September 2015. Live tournaments will be hosted every weekend and on selected weekday evenings, building on the huge success of last year’s G3, the UK’s biggest ever eSports event, which saw approximately 4,000 spectators visit the Copperbox Arena, in London’s Olympic Park. All of the events will be available to view online at Gfinity.net.
Under the deal, Gfinity will commit to a monthly rental fee that will be subject to a 100% clawback principally from ticketing revenues generated by the Gfinity Arena. Any additional revenues generated from the events over and above this level, will be shared equally between the companies. Including branding and marketing spend, Gfinity’s total commitment over the period will be in the region of £350,000. Both parties expect that the arena provides the potential to generate revenues in excess of this figure over the contract period.
Neville Upton, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gfinity, said: “This is a pivotal moment for Gfinity and an exciting time for everyone involved in eSports in the UK. We are delighted to have signed this exclusive agreement with Vue, a well established international brand, to develop and launch the UK’s first and only dedicated eSports arena. The tie-up gives us excellent flexibility while de-risking our expansion plans. Gfinity has proven it can organise and deliver world class events and this agreement allows us to satisfy the booming popularity in eSports as a spectator sport. Furthermore, the deal highlights the growing interest from leading brands here in the UK in the eSports market.”
Vue Fulham Broadway is a state-of-the-art multiplex cinema located in the Fulham Broadway Retail Centre. The current cinema has nine digital screens including one of the capital's largest and can currently seat up to 2,252 people. With its excellent transport links and proximity to Heathrow Airport the world’s best players will be able to fly into London and arrive at the location in less than an hour.
Kevin Styles, Managing Director (UK & Ireland) of Vue, said: “Vue prides itself on being at the forefront of cinema ensuring that we are an exciting and dynamic entertainment destination. This collaboration with Gfinity underlines this and heralds a new era for eSports in the UK. eSports has seen explosive growth both in the UK and throughout the world with popular events attended by thousands of fans and viewed by millions more online. Gfinity has built an excellent reputation as a leader in eSports and we look forward to helping them deliver exciting live events that will lead the way for eSports in the UK and Europe.”
eSports is a rapidly growing market with viewership increasing almost eight-fold since 2000. SuperData’s, April 2014, digital games market report revealed the total viewership in the eSports market is now believed to have surpassed 70 million in 2013, doubling year-over-year. Twitch, the eSport streaming website, recently announced that they have reached 100 million unique users per month, more than double the 45 million achieved in 2013, when they published their 2014 viewership numbers.
Gfinity is a leading UK-based eSports company serving, in co-operation with games publishers, a rapidly-growing community of on-line gamers worldwide. Founded in September 2012, the Company has established a popular on-line brand, gfinity.net, where gamers can compete, socialise and enjoy a wide range of content relating to electronic games on a proprietary technology platform. This platform enables Gfinity to run a regular roster of on-line competitions, leagues and ladders with the opportunity for gamers to enter and potentially win substantial prize money and/or pit their skills against professional and widely-followed ‘‘star’’ players.
Gfinity registered users can enter these events and competitions either without charge or on a pay-to-enter basis. In addition Gfinity hosts live tournaments, the most recent of which was G3, an event that attracted 3,830 ticket paying spectators and achieved 8.7 million on-line views over a single weekend. These events are based around several of the industry’s best selling games such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FIFA 2015, CS:GO, StarCraft and Halo.
Gfinity has quickly become a widely-recognised “destination” for gamers in the UK and internationally, typically aged 18 – 34 years old. The growing user base - growth in registered user base increased from 43,387 as at 30 June 2014 to approaching 300,000 in December - and the demographic of Gfinity’s audience, together with the sheer numbers who view Gfinity’s events online, provide brand owners and advertisers with an attractive environment in which to promote their products and services, as well as offering Gfinity the opportunity to generate significant revenues over the long term. Gfinity website: www.gfinityplc.com
About Vue Entertainment International
From its inception in May 2003, Vue became a worldwide operator and developer of modern, innovative multiplex cinemas. With the acquisition of Apollo Cinemas in May 2012, the takeover of CinemaxX (Germany and Denmark) in July 2012, the acquisition of Multikino (Poland, Latvia and Lithuania) in August 2013, and most recently Space Cinemas (Italy) in November 2014, VEI Group today operates 1,733 screens at 187 state-of-the-art multiplex cinema locations in 9 countries, namely the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy and Taiwan.