Gorgc Says Esports Is Dying
Earlier this week, Team SoloMid (TSM) took to Twitter to announce the release of its Dota 2 roster and its subsequent exit from North America (NA). Responding to this post, prominent Twitch streamer Janne "Gorgc" Stefanovski made a peculiar remark that stood out. He remarked that esports is declining and that several streamers that he personally knows of are getting dropped by organizations and pro teams are being let go.
He believed that esports is on a downswing right now and it is slowly dying. This observation can likely be attributed to the ecosystem of multiple esports titles including Dota 2, League of Legends, and even Apex Legends.
Gorgc Weighs In on State of Esports
Gorgc believed that the esports scene is slowly dying as he reacted to TSM’s disbandment and exit from NA Dota. “I think esports is slowly dying a little bit right now. It's a little bit on the downswing right now,” said Gorgc during a recent livestream. He believed many streamers are losing their contracts, and also mentioned several teams that have been let go.
Although disbandments are common in the esports scene, some notable teams like TSM and Evil Geniuses withdrew their rosters from multiple titles, suggesting there might be some truth in what Gorgc is alleging. In the aftermath of The International 2023 (TI12), three organizations disbanded their Dota 2 rosters. This includes beastcoast, Evil Geniuses, and TSM. However, it is not just Dota 2 that is losing teams. Other esports titles are also undergoing significant changes and most of these developments are rather grim.
On 20th September 2023, TSM released its Dota 2 roster and announced its exit from NA Dota, however, the wording in the announcement suggested that it might adopt a new Dota 2 team in another region. Notably, A few months ago TSM also released its League of Legends roster, and its slot was taken up by Shopify Rebellion.
Likewise, the once-renowned Evil Geniuses, a TI-winning team, surprised the community as it announced its decision to step away from Dota 2 after a disappointing 13th-16th finish at The International 2023. Last month, the organization also released its League of Legends roster, and the state of its Valorant team is also mired in problems.
Lastly, after a disappointing 17th-20th finish, beastcoast players decided to bid adieu to the team, leaving the organization without a Dota 2 roster.
League of Legends’ Esports Is Not in a Healthy State Either
Recently, North America’s League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) released a statement confirming that only eight teams will constitute the league in 2024. This is the first time the LCS will be played with eight teams instead of the usual ten. Following this Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians exited the LCS. Earlier this year, League of Legends Team Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) disbanded its League of Legends roster.
What’s Happening in Apex Legends Esports?
In Apex Legends, NRG Esports exited the esports scene recently. In a statement, NRG's Chief Gaming Officer Jaime added more content to the exit. He said, "With the release of our team I can also confirm that NRG will not be fielding a roster for ALGS going forward. We feel EA/Respawn has not done enough to support orgs and made the tough call to take a step back."
Team Liquid also exited ALGS and in a statement mentioned it had no pleasure in doing so. The statement read, “On the financial side of things, the ALGS and how it is moving forward with monetization for teams simply doesn't fit with our operations, and so we need to take our leave, though we take no pleasure in doing so.”
Saudi Arabia's Heavy Investment in Esports
Despite talks and discussions about esports winter and the decline of the industry, there is a glimmer of hope. In a conversation with Fox News, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shared candid reflections that serve as a significant backdrop to Saudi Arabia's emerging emphasis on the esports domain. The country's sovereign wealth fund is investing nearly $40 Billion to transform it into a global hub for games and esports by 2030.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince believes that the esports industry has the potential to overshadow the Hollywood industry. He said, "Esports is emerging as a global sensation. Witnessing an annual growth rate of 30%, the returns on PIF's investments in this sphere have been nothing short of spectacular. Its significance is akin to eclipsing Hollywood."
Additionally, Saudi Arabia plans to hold the Esports World Cup starting next year which will be an annual event and a celebration of all things esports and gaming.