Can Esports Teams Survive Their Coldest Hour?

Last month, I ventured out of my city to New Jersey to participate in one of my favorite activities, watching “League of Legends”. The Prudential Center in Newark was packed with zealous fans of Riot Games’ MOBA title during the final two series of the League Championship Series season. The event was teeming with personality, with fracas of eSports teams and chants reverberating throughout the stadium, which culminated with fan favourites Cloud9 losing out to underdogs NRG.

Despite the celebrations and camaraderie amongst fellow enthusiasts, there was a palpable air of sobriety pervading the event. eSports teams are in uncertain territory currently. The initial dream of gathering friends to professionally play games has been contorted and twisted over the last decade, primarily due to venture capitalist funding and the ever-increasing appeal of the $250 billion gamers market to brands. As the dust of the hype settles, both fans and organizations are confronting a bleak, harsh winter.

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*Initially Published: Sep 8, 2023, 12:53 pm CDT

Steven Asarch

Steven Asarch is an internet culture-focused writer primarily covering live-streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube. He began writing at Baruch College, then worked for IBT Media, Newsweek and Insider. In 2021, he served as the executive producer for the documentary series “Onision in Real Life” on Discovery +.

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