Esports is a growing industry but some would say that we’re building the plane as we’re flying it, especially since much of what is happening has never been done before. It’s developing on a constant basis and many trends are emerging because of that — one of which is companies in the space listing themselves publicly.
While the majority of the biggest esports organizations are notorious for raising huge amounts of venture capital funds in order to continue their expansions, we’re slowly seeing companies opting to go public instead. They’re effectively selling part-ownership in their business to continue to raise money, fueling further growth.
Some credit Guild Esports, a British esports organization co-owned by famed footballer David Beckham, for illustrating that different paths can be taken. While the likes of Cloud9 and Envy Gaming are raising eye-watering amounts privately, Guild chose to go public just months after launching.
With this trend taking form at an interesting pace, it’s worth compiling all of the current esports companies and organizations that have taken the necessary steps to allow retail investors to grab a piece of the pie. We’ve done just that.
Public esports companies and organizations
Allied Esports Entertainment
Company base: United States Operations: Venues, tournament operations
Trading as AESE on the Nasdaq, Allied Esports Entertainment went public in August 2019 as part of a transaction with Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. They operate an affiliate program for esports venues, the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, the HyperX Esports Studio, and HyperX Esports Trucks in Europe and North America.
Company base: Denmark Operations: Teams
Trading as ASTGRP on the Nasdaq First North Growth and as ASGRF on the OTCQX Best Market, Astralis A/S is a Danish organization that operates teams in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, and FIFA. They first went public in Denmark in December 2019 and began dual-listing on the OTC market in April 2021.
- Read More: Astralis now listed on US stock market
Company base: Canada Operations: Teams, media
Trading as EGLX on the Toronto Stock Exchange and as EGLX on the Nasdaq, Enthusiast Gaming are predominantly known in esports for owning and operating Luminosity Gaming, Call of Duty franchise Seattle Surge, and Overwatch franchise Vancouver Titans. They also own over 100 gaming websites, including esports publication Upcomer, and live expo EGLX.
Company base: Canada, Poland Operations: Teams, infrastructure
Trading as ESE on the TSX Venture Exchange and as ENTEF on the OCTQB, ESE Entertainment have a portfolio that includes competition (K1CK Esports), technology (Virtual Pitstop), OTT and esports infrastracture (WPG), and entertainment (ESE Gaming).
Esports Entertainment Group
Company base: Malta Operations: Gambling, tournament operations
Trading as GMBL on the Nasdaq, Esports Entertainment Group is an online gambling company that specializes in esports, notably operating the VIE.gg bookmaker and UK-based tournament organizer EGL. They also partner with traditional sports entities such as Kraft Sports and Entertainment to launch competitive gaming tournaments.
Company base: United States Operations: Gambling
Trading as EBET on the Nasdaq, Esports Techologies are focused on online betting in the espots industry. Reportedly able to accept wagers in 149 jurisdictions, they allow punters to bet on titles such as Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Dota 2, and Rocket League. The company was founded in September 2020.
Company base: Sweden Operations: Media
Trading as FRAG on the Nasdaq First North, Fragbite is a Nordic-specific media company that launched in 2002. As well as serving as a community hub for esports in the Nordics, the company also hosts events to provide a platform for budding professional players.
The Gaming Stadium
Company base: Canada Operations: Venues
Trading as TGS on the TSX Venture Exchange, The Gaming Stadium went public in August 2020. They operate a competitive gaming venue in Richmond, British Columbia, that hosts viewing parties, organized events, and coaching. They’re said to have run over 500 events with participation from over 50,000 players.
Company base: Canada Operations: Agency
Trading as GMSQF on the OCTQB Venture Market, as GSQ on the Canadian Securities Exchange, and as 29Q1 on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, GameSquare Esports are looking to acquire new companies alongside their current ownership of agency Code Red Esports. The agency has worked with game publishers, esports teams, tournament operators, and publications. In June 2021, GameSquare acquired legacy esports organization Complexity Gaming for $27m. In July 2021, they acquired gaming agency Cut+Sew for $7.85m.
Company base: United Kingdom Operations: Media, event operations
Trading as GFIN on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM, Gfinity operate in three main sectors. They own and operate a suite of digital media outfits, they enter joint ventures and partner with companies, and they “develop and deliver commercially viable programmes” for games publishers, rights holders, and media organizations.
Company base: United Kingdom Operations: Teams
Trading as GILD on the London Stock Exchange and GULDF on the OTCQB Venture Market, Guild Esports launched in June 2020 and listed themselves publicly in October 2020. Known for their ties with David Beckham, they compete in titles such as Rocket League and Valorant, create content with their signed influencers, and have an academy system.
Company base: Malaysia Operations: Tournament operations
Trading as LTES on the OTCQB Venture Market, Leet Technology have a flagship product named Matchroom which aims to make “competitive esports easily available to everyone” by providing competitive matches with prizes, content, ecommerce, and community facilities.
Modern Times Group
Company base: Sweden Operations: Tournament operations
Trading as MTG-A and MTG-B on Nasdaq Stockholm, Modern Times Group is a holding company for esports event operators ESL, DreamHack, and DreamHack Sports Games. ESL are best known for competitive events in Counter-Strike and Dota 2, DreamHack host gaming and esports festivals, and DreamHack Sports Games partners with sporting bodies to create esports-adjacent competitions.
Company base: Australia Operations: Tournament operations
Trading as ESH on the Australian Securities Exchange, Mogul have an online tournament platform and host esports events for other companies. They’ve partnered with the likes of Microsoft, esports organization Team Secret, and Southeast Asian esports company Mineski.
Company base: Canada Operations: Teams
Trading as OAM on the TSX Venture Exchange and OAMCF on the OTCQB Venture Market, OverActive Media own and operate team brand MAD Lions and franchises Toronto Defiant and Toronto Ultra. They’ve partnered with major non-endemic brands like Red Bull, Bell, Canon, Kappa, SEAT, and Universal Music Canada.
Real Luck Group
Company base: Canada Operations: Gambling
Trading as LUCK on the TSX Venture Exchange and LUKEF on the OTCQB exchange, Real Luck Group operate esports bookmaker Luckbox. They offer markets for sports as well as all of the major esports titles and are fully licensed under the Online Gambling Regulation Act.
Company base: Canada Operations: Gambling
Trading as RVLY on the TSX Venture Exchange and 9VK on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, esports betting company Rivalry have grown quickly since their launch in 2018. They offer markets for both esports and sports and are rapidly expanding out into traditional offerings like casino games with a modern, gamified twist.
Semper Fortis Esports
Company base: United Kingdom Operations: Teams, management
Trading as SEMP as on the AQSE Growth Market, Semper Fortis Esports quietly launched in 2020 with Atari founder Nolan Bushnell as a board director and made headlines upon going public in April 2021. As well as operating a European Rocket League team, they plan to form partnerships with technology companies, provide business advisory services, and utilize professional footballers as ambassadors.
Simplicity Esports and Gaming Company
Company base: United States Operations: Teams, venues
Trading as WINR on the OTCQB market, Simplicity Esports and Gaming own and operate North American esports team brand Simplicity Esports and gaming lounge PLAYlive Nation. They also operate the esports division of Brazilian football team Flamengo, one of the long-term partners in Riot Games’ premier Brazilian competition for League of Legends.
Super League Gaming
Company base: United States Operations: Tournament operations
Trading as SLGG on the Nasdaq, Super League Gaming aim their services at the amateur and grassroots level of esports. They describe themselves as operating a gaming community and content platform, regularly hosting online competitive events for budding competitors.
Company base: Canada Operations: Teams, betting
Trading as TIDL on the Canadian Securities Exchange, Tiidal Gaming is the parent company of esports organization Lazarus and business-to-business esports data provider Sportsflare. Their mission to enable the “next generation of esports” and build the “future of game-based entertainment”.