Popular Hearthstone tournament platform StriveWire shutters, leaving players out of pocket

There was no warning the site would be shutting down.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Online tournament platform StriveWire abruptly shut down today, with users unable to withdraw any balance left on the site.

StriveWire, which had been in operation for nearly four years, was very popular with the Hearthstone community. For small entry fees the site offered cash payouts for winning online tournaments, allowing the best online grinders to make a little bit of money from their talent.

Just a few weeks ago, the site re-branded to 1vs1.gg. Now the site is gone, replaced with a message informing users of the closure.

“We’ve been working on StriveWire for the last few years with all our passion and enthusiasm to create the worlds best esports platform,” the notice read. “Unfortunately we could not acquire sufficient traction and funding to reach a decent size. We have applied for insolvency and have stopped the business. No payments can be made at present.”

The notice was later updated to include that payments would “be resumed” once the insolvency process kicked in—but that that could take weeks or even months.

So far, Dot Esports has spoken to over a dozen players who had money on the site when it shut down, ranging from those who didn’t have enough to reach the minimum withdrawal of €10 ($11.60) to those who had up to €750 ($870) in their balance. In total, the money owed to players who have spoken to Dot Esports is well over $3,000. Not all of that will have been money deposited—some of that balance is winnings from tournaments.

Additionally, a designer who worked on the recent re-brand has not been paid for his services. A former employee, speaking to Dot Esports on condition of anonymity, said that there had been no indication of financial problems at the company and that they had never had issues being paid on time.

The company, which is registered in Germany, hasn’t filed accounts for any year since 2015. In its most recent updates, share capital was listed at €106,435 ($123,559). With no other shareholders listed in the limited filings, its likely that represents the amount of money invested in the project by the three managing directors—Christoper Bachelier, Benjamin Flesch, and retired director Gerrit Janke. That 2015 filing listed the company’s assets and liabilities both at €12,903.01 ($14,979).

StriveWire going under is a big loss to the Hearthstone community. The platform not only ran its own online tournaments, it sponsored other events, provided a platform for prize pool crowdfunding, and partnered with local groups to run offline community events.

StriveWire did not respond to requests for comment by time of publication.