Nick J. December 1, 2019
The Astralis Group has announced its plans to take the company public.
The Astralis Group, which owns League of Legends team Origen, FIFA's Future FC, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Astralis, revealed plans to take the company public just months after its split from RFRSH Entertainment. The move marks the first time that an organization intimately involved in the management and ownership of esports teams has gone public.
Astralis is currently the top-ranked Counter-Strike team in the world and won its third consecutive CSGO major earlier this year, while Origen is a permanent franchise in the LEC.
According to the Astralis Group’s IPO prospectus, the company plans to raise between $18 and $22 million with the offering. With the brand already partnered with the likes of Audi and Logitech, the IPO should garner serious interest from investors. The company’s listing on Nasdaq’s First North Growth Market stock exchange is set to take place on or before December 9.
Astralis takes the IPO plunge while esports watches
The Astralis Group was split off from RFRSH Entertainment in September amid conflict of interest concerns over Astralis' participation in RFRSH-run BLAST Pro Series tournaments. Eventually, the two entities split with Astralis Group taking over the company's team operations while and RFRSH Entertainment continued on as a tournament organizer.
Up until the Astralis Group’s announcement, organizations have typically relied on outside funding from venture capital firms to establish their brands. The Astralis Group took this path as well, but will now step into untested territory.
There has only been one test case similar to Astralis Group. Super League Gaming, a gaming-centric event planning company, went public with a $25 million IPO in February. Although the IPO was awash with buzz, it was a disaster in reality.
After opening at $11 a share, the price plummeted upon release. It now sits at $2.47 per share as of November 29, 2019.
The Astralis Group is in a very different place than SLG, however. The company is led by industry veterans and its products are teams, not services. In that respect, they start on much firmer ground.
AG's location in Denmark is another bonus for the IPO, as the country has been unusually accepting of esports. After winning BLAST Pro Series Copenhagen, for example, the Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Løkke Rasmussen personally visited the Astralis facilities to congratulate the team. The players themselves enjoy celebrity status in their home country and appear frequently in newspapers and on Danish TV after big wins.
For now, the rest of the esports world is watching the Astralis Group. If the IPO is successful, it could result in a number of organizations taking a similar plunge.