The esports bear market, layoffs and more

It’s been a while. In fact almost one month. It’s been a busy month on my end and I wasn’t able to write too much lately. However, I’m going to talk about some of the latest in the esports new and unfortunate layoffs / closures in the industry.

Layoffs & Closures

Numerous layoffs have impacted the esports industry. Canadian based waveform entertainment is rumored to have laid off nearly 50% of its stay nearly a month ago. 100 thieves + other industry titans have also been laying off staff due to macro economic uncertainty + trimming. I am sorry to hear about those impacted, it’s always a tough time when you are laid off. Please note, sometimes it’s not your fault at all. You will get through it and if you need to reach out to someone feel free to contact me.

One of the largest organizers in esports is actually closing its doors. Announced last week BTS (BeyondTheSummit) tweeted that they will be having one last event and giving ample time and notice to employees so that they can move on from the company. Firstly, this is a classy move by BTS in terms of giving notice + support for their employees during this time. It is super unfortunate and somewhat shocking that they’re closing their doors. However, the esports industry is incredibly tough. I hope that the BTS team are able to do something with the IP or stay in esports in some shape or form. BTS was always one of the toughest TOs to go against in the Dota 2 space. We would avoid their scheduling generally because their channel dwarfed ours. It’s quite sad to see that they’re closing their doors. I wish them all the best with whatever they do

Overall thoughts

Esports was always a tough business and it is even in a tougher spot now. Financially, this is a very hard time for a lot companies from a macro perspective (not just in esports). Esports revenue has always been in question and large overheard is being scrutinized even further. Gone are the days of 10-15x multipliers with crazy burn and VC fueled dollars. Consolidation in the industry with companies cost cutting and scrambling to find their footing will be common place as 2023 continues. Higher interest rates and tough macro economic headwinds will tighten fundraising. Those who are public will be scrutinized even further as pressure will mount to hit public targets and guidance despite the economy. Overall, esports is in a decent spot viewership and numbers wise outside of the finances. However, something must give if esports will be able to thrive again. Perhaps it’s publisher control or revenue shares across the industry, perhaps it’s other industries leading the charge with publishers being more open to working with everyone. Perhaps it’s more fiscal responsibility. Perhaps it’s less bad actors in the space with a more realistic approach to reality.

I’ve been in the esports industry for 12 years and will continue to do so. Esports has been a great journey for me but not the most financially rewarding at times. I just hope we can continue to rebuild and that the next iteration is filled with less bad actors and more visionaries that can lead the way forward into sustainability and prosperity.

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