Astralis to set esports first with IPO

Peter 'dupreeh' Rasmussen of Astralis competes against MIBR during the FACEIT ECS Season 6 finals (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Astralis Group has announced plans to launch an initial public offering in a move that would mark a first for a professional esports team.

Denmark-based Astralis, which competes in titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and EA Sports’ FIFA series, is set to launch the IPO on Nasdaq’s Copenhagen exchange on December 9.

In an interview with the Bloomberg news agency, Astralis chief executive Nikolaj Nyholm detailed the company’s plans amid hopes to raise between DKK125m (€16.7m/$18.5m) and DKK150m. Shares have been priced at DKK8.95 and the subscription period ran from November 18-29.

Nyholm, who pointed to around $8m in pre-commitments “from a range of European and Asian investors”, told Bloomberg: “We believe that the foundation of some of the most valuable and iconic brands in 10 years’ time is being set today.”

Addressing the lack of esports-focused IPOs to date and the potential risks that may come with investing in Astralis, Nyholm added: “In this respect it is also our responsibility to help educate the market through a continuous high level of information.”

Astralis launched in 2016 and has since gone on to win millions of dollars in prize money. It currently counts Audi and Logitech among its commercial partners.