The last summer month brought with it relatively quiet times on the investment front. The news that did happen were mostly positive, with Guild entering mens Counter-Strike after raising money, and VALORANT Champions Bundle helping further support VCT teams. G1 announced its new headquarters, and Sentinels started a crowdfunding campaign.
Here is a roundup of the most important esports investment stories from August 2023.
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Game developer Riot Games has revealed that the VALORANT Champions skin bundle has raised more than $20m (~£15.8m) for participating teams.
The Champions Bundle was released on August 4th ahead of VALORANT’s season-ending world championship, VALORANT Champions. 50% of the skin bundle’s net proceeds will be split between all 16 VALORANT Champions 2023 participants, meaning that the bundle has generated over $40m in total — with five days still to go.
The VALORANT Champions Bundle includes a Vandal and Melee skin, alongside other cosmetic items such as a player card, gun accessory and spray.
British esports organisation Guild Esports has announced it is further expanding its presence in CS:GO with a men’s roster ahead of the video game franchise’s move to Counter-Strike 2.
Guild highlighted that it raised funding to launch the team from ‘multiple sources’, including an unnamed national esports federation. Guild has not disclosed where it raised the funding from that it used to sign the team, nor which national esports federation participated in the funding. Guild told Esports Insider it could not disclose any further information about the nature or source of the funding.
The new team will comprise five players, plus coaching staff, with the roster set to be announced in ‘due course’.
GameSquare Holdings, the parent company of North American esports organisation Complexity, has announced significantly increased revenues for Q1 2023, ending June 30th.
The company reported CAD $14.2m (~£8.3m) in revenues for the quarter, more than its CAD $6.7m (~£3.9m) figure from the same period last year. Despite this, the company has still announced a net loss of CAD $4.1m (~£2.4m), an increase of around CAD $1.5m (~£875,000) from Q2 2022.
Whilst revenues have increased, so did the cost of sales. For Q1 2023, cost of sales totalled CAD $10.2m (~£5.9m), resulting in a gross profit of CAD $4.1m (~£2.4m). However, this is still an increase from last year’s Q2 gross profit of CAD $3m (~£1.75m).
North American esports organisation FaZe Clan has reported a net loss of $14.35m (~£11.27m) for Q2 2023, ending June 30th.
The organisation has also detailed a decrease in revenue and gross profit compared to the prior year. FaZe Clan’s revenue has dropped from $18.8m (~£14.8m) to $11.7m (~£9.2m). Cost of revenues in Q2 2023 were lower, however, the organisation recorded a lower gross profit of $1.9m (~£1.5m), over $4m (~£3.1m) less than last year.
In the company’s letter to its Shareholders, FaZe stated that the decrease in revenue was largely due to a “deceleration” in brand sponsorship revenue. Whilst the organisation didn’t reveal the exact figure, FaZe Clan did highlight increased ‘esports revenue’ for the quarter.
North American esports organisation Sentinels could close down in a few months’ time if it is unable to raise enough capital.
A document from Sentinels’ crowdfunding campaign on fundraising platform StartEngine revealed that the organisation is currently operating at a monthly burn rate of $695,000 (~£545,971). These are expenses related to player and content creator salaries, staff salaries, and funds required to acquire merchandise inventory.
If the company is only able to raise the minimum offering amount — set at $14,900 (~£11,800) — Sentinels highlighted that it may only be able to operate for two to three months. The maximum offering amount set is $1.23m (~£971,000) with 392,063 being the total number of shares offered.
North American esports organisation Gamers First (G1) has revealed plans for a new multi-purpose headquarters facility, which will include studios, training facilities and an event space.
The new 25,500 square-foot facility is located in the East Congress district of Austin, Texas. The space will be used as a headquarters for G1’s esports operations, as well as other companies owned by G1 CEO and Co-Founder Kenny Vaccaro.
Danish esports organisation Astralis has voted to delist from the NASDAQ First North Growth Market Denmark.
The vote took place at an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders and comes amid a continued decline in the company’s stock price. Astralis said the board and management will now proceed with the application for delisting from the stock exchange. The company said in a brief filing that it would issue an announcement when its delisting application has been submitted.
Publicly listed UK esports organisation Semper Fortis Esports is set to undergo a reverse takeover, according to a financial filing on the Aquis Stock Exchange — a move that would conclude a complete pivot away from esports for a company that once had grand ambitions in the space.
First announced by Semper Fortis in a filing in May that went unnoticed, Semper is merging with a company called GL Membership Limited through a £250,000 Convertible Loan Note investment.