Philadelphia-based tournament organiser Nerd Street Gamers is seeking a buyer or further investment as it struggles with serious financial liabilities, according to a report by The Esports Advocate.
Sources told The Esports Advocate that Nerd Street, which also has a network of gaming centres, is looking for a way to get itself out of debt as it struggles to pay the talent and professional players it owes money to.
Nerd Street has reportedly approached companies with similar operations in the space including Belong Gaming Arenas, eFuse, PlayFly, LeagueSpot as well as VC firms — including SeventySix Capital, which has invested in Nerd Street multiple times in the past.
The company has launched several funding rounds in recent years in order to raise capital for its ambitious projects and plans. Nerd Street’s offerings include esports camps, its network of ‘Localhost’ gaming centre venues, and its tournament production vertical.
Nerd Street has raised a total of $25.3m (~£20.6m) in funding across four rounds, according to CrunchBase. In October 2019, it raised $12m (~£9.8m) in a Series A round led by Five Below and involving Comcast, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Capital, and George Miller. In 2021, it raised an additional $11.5m (£8.48m) in a round led by Founders Fund.
Multiple talent members and broadcast production workers have told Esports Insider that Nerd Street Gamers has consistently been months late to pay invoices, and in some cases has still not paid them at all. Nerd Street did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Numerous other professional players and talent have come out publicly on social media claiming they have not been prize winnings or for work for Nerd Street, including several professional VALORANT players and casters.
Nerd Street’s financial issues were likely exacerbated when cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which Nerd Street partnered with in February 2022, went bankrupt in November 2022. Nerd Street did not comment at the time, but FTX’s bankruptcy saw the collapse of its other high-profile, $210m deal with TSM and $3.2m deal with FURIA.
Esports Insider has reached out to Nerd Street Gamers for comment and will update this article if a response is received.