How Esports Organizations Are Preparing for Esports Winter

How Esports Organizations Are Preparing for Esports Winter

The esports industry is rebounding in 2024 after a challenging year in 2023, as some brands and advertisers are returning. 

Even though it seems like the esports winter is finally ending, it’s becoming evident that not all esports organizations have fared the same in the harsh weather. 

Also read: US Funds eSports Program to Combat Misinformation

Let’s delve into the strategies employed by four leading esports organizations. These strategies are not only positioning them for long-term sustainability and stability but also liberating them from the caprices of brand marketers.


NRG, an esports organization, has experienced business growth over the past year. In December of that year, Andy Miller, the CEO of NRG, told Digiday that the organization had found 2023 to be “pretty good.” In addition to expanding on alliances with automakers, revealed in late 2023, NRG announced new collaborations with Panda Express and Samsung Galaxy in 2024.

NRG’s triumph can be attributed to its extensive engagement with both competitive and recreational gaming communities. By skillfully branding its esports teams under the NRG name and maintaining a casual presence through Full Squad Gaming, the company has fostered fruitful partnerships across various sectors, including the automotive industry.

Team Liquid

Team Liquid is one of the most well-known and oldest active esports brands, with millions of fans worldwide and millions of followers on social media. One of Liquid’s greatest assets is, in part, the strength and enduring appeal of its brand; at the Six Invitational grand final in São Paulo in February, for instance, a sizable contingent of fans turned out wearing Team Liquid jerseys, even though the team wasn’t competing.

Victor Goossens, co-CEO of Team Liquid, stated, “We see that brands with long-standing commitments to esports will continue to invest in 2024.” 

“We see sponsor interest in esports picking back up in 2024, but the approach is more conservative, focusing on less risky deals involving proven properties,” the statement reads.

Another reason Team Liquid is well-positioned in the long run is because it has profitable business divisions that are largely unrelated to competitive gaming. In addition to its esports teams, Team Liquid also owns Liquipedia, a well-known wiki network for esports; Liquid Media, a talent management agency; and 1UP Studios, a video content production company that produces white-label content for businesses like Riot Games.

One True King

The group known to its supporters as One True King, or OTK, refers to itself as a “gaming organization” rather than an esports organization, indicating that its primary objective is recreational gaming instead of competitive gaming. Established in 2020 by a group of well-known gaming content creators, OTK is a collective owned by its members that blurs the boundaries between media and entertainment. Every employee at OTK has equity in the company, so everything the company does, including its live-streamed shareholder meetings, is content.

OTK may be positioned for long-term success due in part to its member ownership structure. Esports companies that rely on the influence and following of specific influencers to develop their brand equity risk losing that equity if those influencers decide to go it alone or leave the organization to work for another team. By offering its members equity, OTK has ensured that all its members are committed to the company’s long-term success rather than just their short-term gain.

Companies are observing OTK’s distinctive approach to the market. For instance, OTK debuted the first installment of a Progressive-sponsored content series on April 11; the insurance company purchased rights to over 20 episodes. 

According to Damon Harman, co-founder and CEO of the agency Integrated Content, which arranged the Progressive deal, “OTK is now transforming gaming content into a predictable, impactful media buy for brands like Progressive — standardizing pricing, de-risking partnerships, and guaranteeing impressions.”

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