After just four years, Danish esports organisation North has announced its closure through a statement posted on the official Football Club Copenhagen (FCK) website.
In the announcement, translated from Danish, investors Parken Sport & Entertainment and Nordisk Film state that as a consequence of COVID-19’s effect on the experience industry, the two partners will pull their investments from the esports team and instead focus on their core businesses.
From the announcement, Lars Bo Jeppesen, Chairman of North and Director of Parken Sport & Entertainment, states that the investors are ‘very sorry to close North’, which has made a ‘great impression in international esports’.
In November of 2020, former CEO Christopher Håkonsson stepped down after only one year with the organisation. Alexander Pedersen, who previously spearheaded North’s rebrand, stepped in as interim CEO while the organisation sought additional investment.
Despite North’s partnership with YouGov, Danish computer manufacturer MM Vision, Swedish energy drink Nocco, Danish high-end audio company EPOS, and French tech company Capgemini — the added value wasn’t enough to sustain the organisation.
In the announcement, Jeppesen states that the organisation was not successful in their investment search for a correct match and acknowledged that the organisation required “significant continued investment to create a sustainable business in the future.” Jeppesen stated that the responsibilities of the businesses at this time are to focus on their core and growth businesses.
Jeppesen conceded that there is still potential in esports and gaming, but its timeline is long and uncertain, and the lasting effects of the pandemic have delayed the progression of the industry according to their assessment. He stated that both the esports and sports industries have been hit hard financially from the pandemic. The group will continue its investment in the FCK football club.
In a statement credited to Chairman of Parken Sport & Entertainment, Bo Rygaard, and CEO of Nordisk Film, Allan Mathson Hansen, both owner groups of North were happy with the collaboration and see potential in future partnerships where the fit is right.
FCK will absorb the FIFA operations from North to continue their participation in eSuperliga, while all other esports activities will be discontinued over time.
Esports Insider says: What a shame; North was an org with so much promise. Given its recent announcements there were no signs of the company’s discontinuation. Even the most global brands in esports often struggle to make a profit, and ultimately, a selection needed to be made. Investors chose to continue support for traditional sports over esports during the pandemic.