Powerhouse pro-gaming team shuts down amid industry's rising costs
The French competitive gaming team VeryGames, home to likely the greatest Counter-Strike: Source squad of all time and one of the most accomplished Global Offensive teams to ever play, is closing its doors today.
Founder Johann Thiesson cites “lack of financial means” as the reason for the shut down. When the team looked at its ambitious 2014 schedule, it saw its expenses tripling.
“Team VeryGames will not be able to cover it,” Thiesson said. “We have not been able to evolve fast enough for that.”
Founded in 2008 in Paris, Team VeryGames has always been sponsored by the French server company of the same name. The team collected 25 gold medals in Counter-Strike: Source. In 2012, they made the jump to Global Offensive, the latest incarnation of the classic shooter. There, they sparked a rivalry with Ninjas in Pyjamas, a Swedish squad made up some of the best Counter-Strike players in the world.
NiP came out on top of VeryGames every single time in 2012 to the tune of over $25,000 in prize money.
Firmly establishing themselves as the second best team in the world, VeryGames didn’t beat their Scandanavian tormentors until Oct. 2012 at the EMS One finals. VeryGames took home €12,000 and gold for their efforts.
Just a month later, the two teams faced off once again at DreamHack for a much bigger prize and NiP took the series 2-1.
The end of VeryGames raises important questions about Counter-Strike as an eSport. Although the game has reached record popularity in recent months, it has lost major teams like VeryGames and the Ukranian Astana Dragons in just the last week.
At first glance to an outsider, the closures seem to have a lot to do with the teams themselves rather than with the overall industry. But how quickly will these top players find the considerable money necessary to support them both at home and around the world? The speed with which they sign with new teams will say a lot about the eSports’ industry’s expectations for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2014.
For their part, ex-VeryGames players will continue to compete together as they seek new sponsors.