Team Liquid was involved with Heroes of the Storm esports since its inception. In 2014, Team Liquid competed in the BlizzCon Exhibition Tournament, which was the start of many more events for the team. By 2018, Team Liquid accomplished a goal that the program set from the beginning: Qualify for the Heroes Global Championship World Championship. But the team didn’t know that by the end of 2018, Blizzard would pull support from the competitive scene.
It’s been two months since HOTS esports has been axed and Team Liquid is finally parting ways with its team. Earlier today, the organization made the decision to release the roster featuring Dennis “HasuObs” Schneider, Nils “Nurok” Gebhardt, Aleksandar “ethernal” Milanov, Ivan “SportBilly” Koturić, and Liam “Arcaner” Simpson.
Liquid’s founder and CEO Victor Goossens included a personal statement with the announcement. After expressing his gratitude for the team and its achievements over the past five years, Goossens addressed Blizzard’s decision to cut off HOTS esport investment. “Ultimately within Blizzard there was a commitment to putting a product out there, but far too few resources were spent to establish monetization that I am confident would have supported the league because of the game’s devoted fan base,” Goossens said.
He went on to say that Blizzard’s original choice to commit to competitive HOTS was largely a marketing decision. “In a total absence of finding revenue it just became a pure marketing spend,” Goossens said. While Blizzard has stopped supporting HOTS esports, the fans haven’t—the community is organizing a donation-funded league called Heroes of the Storm Division S.
While Team Liquid has dropped its HOTS team, the organization is still actively supporting some players from the roster. The organization kept players under contract through the holidays and provided an increase in bit cheer revenue from Twitch. Additionally, SpotBilly, Nurok, and HasuObs will remain with Team Liquid as streamers.