Esports investment report, February 2024: FaZe Clan, EFG, Disney

esports investment february 2024

Esports Insider’s monthly roundups of the most important esports investment stories is back in 2024. February brought a large round of layoffs at the ESL FACEIT Group, as well as a definitive ending to the FaZe acquisition.

Here is a roundup of the most important esports investment stories from February 2024.

To learn more about esports investments, make sure to subscribe to ESI’s Angels & Unicorns newsletter — a monthly roundup of the biggest stories in the world of esports investments, mergers, and acquisitions. 

Spotlighted story

ESL FACEIT Group lays off 15% of employees
Image credit: ESL FACEIT Group

Global multi-faceted esports tournament company ESL FACEIT Group has announced a round of layoffs which will affect approximately 15% of its global workforce.

The layoffs will seemingly affect the entirety of the company, and not just specific departments. According to a statement released by the company, the decision to reduce its workforce was made to support EFG’s ‘sustainable growth ambitions and profitability’.

In a media FAQ, ESL FACEIT Group noted that the “reorganisation will ensure EFG continues to evolve in a fast-paced market, and support the reorganisation of EFG toward its primary business

faze gamesquare
Image credit: FaZe Clan / Gamesquare

Shareholders of esports holding company GameSquare Holdings have voted to approve the company’s pending merger with North American esports organisation FaZe Clan.

GameSquare and FaZe said they anticipate the merger will close ‘shortly’, though it is still subject to standard closing conditions.

FaZe Clan shareholders already voted to approve the merger in a meeting on February 16th. In that meeting, shareholders representing 91% of FaZe stock voted to approve the merger. 

The acquisition was originally expected to close in Q4 of 2023 but has been delayed. In January this year, GameSquare told Esports Insider the deal was in its final stages.

Disney invests $1.5b into Epic Games to focus on Fortnite
Image credit: Disney / Epic Games

Disney, one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, has invested $1.5bn (~£1.2bn) into game developer Epic Games.

The company will become a shareholder of Epic Games, with the investment focusing on Fortnite, Epic Games’ well-known battle royale title. According to a release shared by the Walt Disney Company, the deal has two main components. The first is a strategic partnership between the two companies that will see Disney and Epic Games collaborate on ‘an all-new games and entertainment universe’ which will feature Disney IPs and characters. The other segment is the investment itself, which makes Disney a shareholder in Epic Games and will be subjected to regulatory approval.

The new cash influx into Epic Games could have implications for its esports ventures, but neither Epic Games nor Disney mentioned esports as a field of focus in the future across initial releases and statements.

Credit: Esports Engine. Picture taken during Call of Duty World League (CWL) contest between 100 Thieves and OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming CEO Hector ‘H3cz’ Rodriguez and former Call of Duty player Seth ‘Scump’ Abner have filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard.

The lawsuit, which was first reported by Bloomberg Law, alleges that Activision Blizzard engaged in “monopolistic, trade-restraining and anti-competitive” actions, which resulted in major financial harm to Rodriguez and his business ventures. In addition, the lawsuit claims that Activision refused to allow Rodriguez to be a sole owner of a CDL team, among other things.

In a statement sent to news outlets, Activision commented: “Mr. Rodriguez (aka OpTic H3CZ) and Mr. Abner (aka Scump) demanded that Activision pay them tens of millions of dollars to avoid this meritless litigation, and when their demands were not met, they filed.

Indian esports veterans create Trident Gaming
Image credit: Trident Gaming

Two Indian esports and gaming veterans, Abhijeet ‘Ghatak’ Andhare and Sunny ‘Fea’ Lohia have announced the creation of a new esports company in India, Trident Gaming.

The company aims to focus on grassroots development and projects that nurture new talent, as well as work with talent, produce content and help facilitate partnerships between brands and esports stakeholders.

The company is also in talks with educational institutions to collaborate on bringing esports education into their curriculum, but further details about upcoming partnerships were not disclosed.

RSG esports cup
Image credit: RSG

Southeast Asian esports organisation RSG has announced that it will invest $500,000 (~£395,300) over the next few years to scout and develop new esports talent.

As part of this initiative, RSG will launch the RSG Cup Series, a series of localised SEA tournaments that focus on scouting up-and-coming talent.

SG has a notable presence in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), operating rosters in three SEA countries — the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. RSG’s Philippines roster won the MLBB Southeast Asia Cup (now rebranded to the Mid-Season Cup) in 2022.

Details such as how many years the overall investment will cover and further activations have not been revealed.

The news of the RSG Cup coincided with the announcement that the teams’ MPL Singapore roster captain Weelun ‘Diablo’’ Yeo would be joining rival organisation Team Flash.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.