TRACKSUIT tycoon Mike Ashley is to delve deeper into the world of video game retailing after striking a deal with Game Digital to introduce e-sports concessions into his Sports Direct stores.

The billionaire Newcastle United owner, who holds a 26 per cent stake in Game, has now picked up 50 per cent of the high street chain's Belong e-sports division for £3.2m.

So-called e-sports see professional gamers battling it out in front of crowds.

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Sports Direct will also provide Game's Spanish arm with £55m of borrowing, which is available to use to fund the roll out of more arenas.

The retailer, which saw half-year pre-tax profits plunge 67.3 per cent to £45.8m, recently moved into the former TK Maxx building, on Darlington’s Crown Street, from a unit on the neighbouring East Street.

Sports Direct also has stakes in Debenhams and French Connection.