Billionaire Fred Done has invested in Manchester-based eSports publication GGIntel.

Done is best known as the co-founder of Betfred but is a serial tech investor having previously invested in a range of companies including Nottingham-based premier Google partner Adzooma; app developer Degree 53; and digital agency ActiveWin, both of which are based in Manchester.

It is estimated that the total global audience of eSports is 454 million viewers, with revenues of over $1 billion. By 2020, eSports viewership is expected to exceed 600 million.

Done said: “eSports is only going one way and that’s up, and I’m really excited to be involved with GGIntel. I’m looking forward to working with this small but passionate team to create a unique business in an emerging sector.”

GGIntel is focused on becoming a world-leading eSports publisher providing bespoke content, global event and tournament information, and breaking industry updates to its community of fans.

There has been an explosion of popularity in video game competitions since the early 2010s, with brands such as Red Bull and ESPN becoming sponsors of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) and real-time strategy (RTS) streamed events featuring titles such as League of Legends, Super Smash Bros, Counter-Strike and Overwatch.

 Furthermore, JD Sports have taken a serious interest in the sector via its recent JDX events in the UK.

GGIntel Managing Director Chris Young said: “I am delighted to have launched GGIntel in one of the most rapidly growing and exciting industries in the world. The aim of GGIntel is to be the global leader in providing transparent, in-depth esports information and education through engaging content written and produced by experts in the field. We are already off to a blinding start, and we’ve only just begun.”

Streaming media platforms like YouTube and Twitch are the most popular with the esports audience, made up of approximately 85 per cent male and 15 per cent female between the ages of 18 and 34.

Major brands are starting to jump on the trend, with the likes of Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, T-Mobile, and Adidas investing increasing amounts in sponsorships. Sold-out professional stadiums are expected as mobile eSports goes mainstream.