After a seemingly short stint under the GAMURS umbrella, the fate of the EsportsWikis staff is up in the air as the company has decided not to renew the contracts for its contributors.
Just found out @GAMURScom isn’t renewing my contract or any of my paid staff……pretty sad to be here again. anyone want a wiki staff?
— River (@RheingoldRiver) June 13, 2017
While there are many similar community-run databases such as these, EsportsWikis are particularly popular in League of Legends and SMITE, along with providing data for smaller communities like Vainglory and Rocket League. Many supporters have shared their distaste with the decision, noting that wikis like these provide information not found anywhere else.
League Esportswikis is by far the best League of Legends wiki out there for competitive. Without it, my job would be much more difficult. https://t.co/WbxnvSOVTG
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) June 13, 2017
This isn’t the first time the EsportsWikis team has endured troubles. Under the name Esportspedia, the website was previously owned by Azubu but dropped nearly a year ago. As Azubu retained the Esportspedia website, which is now run independently, the EsportsWikis team was forced to find a new home and was almost immediately picked up by Dot Esports owners, GAMURS.
While there was some outrage about the situation, GAMURS CEO Riad Chikhani attempted to shed light on the decision.
To give transparency before our announcement tomorrow, GAMURS invested $270k into the wikis in 12mo. Revenue was just over $5k.
— Riad Chikhani (@riad_chikhani) June 13, 2017
Chikhani followed this tweet up with a lengthy statement detailing the GAMURS decision in dropping EsportsWikis.
It states that although the re-launch was successful, the traffic was not enough for a return on their large investment namely due to visitors using AdBlock. It goes on to explain that GAMURS was interested in taking EsportsWikis in a different direction and after proposing it to the staff over a three month period, the notion was “met with continuous resistance and rejection”. After no solution was found, GAMURS was forced to make the decision not to renew any EsportsWikis staff contracts, but have added two members to take charge of the wiki for their new transition.
Despite the lack of contract renewals, GAMURS still intends to launch its new platform – Esports Database.
While it was not announced at the most opportune moment, Esports Database will have a much larger structure integrated directly into DotEsports.com with player data, live match data, power rankings, tournament statistics, and many other features.
This bears the question: if EsportsWikis provided less content and was not sustainable, how will Esports Database succeed with all the announced features? Chikhani insists it will become profitable: “The power to provide data in any form we wish to the entire esports ecosystem creates an unlimited opportunities.” If you also consider the fact that it will be piggy backing off of the Dot Esports traffic with their integration, that will surely help when it comes to ad-revenue.
In a comment on the League of Legends subreddit a wiki staff member states the accusation that they were aware of the impending merge was false: “In one of the messages that she (EsportsWikis lead, Megan “River” Cutrofello) sent to us soon after she heard that she was being fired, she told us that she had ‘no notice that this was going to be the case’.”
They also state they’ve been locked out of the EsportsWiki servers: “We cannot back up the data we have to import it to a new site. It appears that GAMURS will take the data from the site and then delete it.”
Esports Insider says: While community-run databases such as EsportsWikis are essential to the scene, hearing that $270,000 was invested into a wiki site sounds outrageous, especially with expectations of return on investment. GAMURS have made what looks to be a sound decision in integrating their database into the already successful Dot Esports brand, however leaving the staff in the dust is certainly questionable.