The Future. The esports industry has been shaken by dwindling viewership, revenue, and overall interest, upending the narrative that video-game competitions would rise to the cultural status of professional sports. But for players to continue to afford competing at the team level, more developers may need to create profit-sharing opportunities for them within the games themselves, like how Riot Games has done with Valorant.
The esports industry has encountered its biggest challenge yet: post-pandemic reality.
- Several top esports groups are selling off their teams, including Counter Logic Gaming, due to missed revenue expectations.
- Marquee organizations like Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves are dropping expensive players and laying off execs.
- FaZe Clan, the first organization to go public, saw its stock crash to just 50 cents a share and has been warned by the Nasdaq that it could be delisted.
And the granddaddy of all esports competitions, the League Championship Series, saw its viewership decline by double digits for the second year in a row. That followed a departure in sponsors and ad money to go off with it. Riot Games, the competition’s organizer and the developer behind League of Legends, even had to issue an apology to investors.
Hopefully, this isn’t “game over” for esports.