Sentinels, arguably the most popular Valorant eSports organization, has miserably failed to bring in profits
Although the professional Valorant team of Sentinels has not managed to achieve notable success in the last two years, it is still one of the most popular eSports organizations of the FPS title. The org has the game’s most well-known player Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, in the active roster and also the most watched Valorant streamer Tarık Çelik as its content creator.
Even this year, during the team’s struggle in VCT Americas and LCQ, matches between Sentinels and other teams became the most-watched games in 2023, with the League’s Sentinels vs LOUD battle picking up half a million views.
However, the popularity of this organization has not resulted in any massive profits. In fact, according to a financial memo published on StartEngine (a crowdfunding platform used by the company), Sentinels lost over $8.2 million in 2022.
Compared to other names in the eSports world, Sentinels is a fairly new company, and it's common for businesses to experience a net loss in their starting years. However, this hasn’t been a one-time occurrence in Valorant eSports, especially in North America, where player salaries are reportedly much higher than in other regions.
good news we're not losing our jobs. bad news you still have to deal with us
— Sentinels (@Sentinels) August 9, 2023
Other Instances of Financial Despair in Valorant eSports
Recently, famous streamer Disguised Toast created his eSports organization Disguised, or DSG for short, and entered the competitive world with a Challengers roster in Valorant’s tier-2 scene. After the disappointing failure of the team, Toast revealed how the organization was on pace to lose nearly $1 million this year due to its debut in Valorant and League of Legends.
just got off a call with my accountant and apparently i'm gonna be spending twice as much as i expected for dsg
— DSG Toast (@DisguisedToast) May 29, 2023
Moist Moguls, another VCL team owned by Ludwig Ahgren and Charles Christopher White Jr., aka MoistCr1TiKaL, is also an eSports organization that started its journey in Valorant this year. In many instances, the joint owners mentioned how they knew going into this journey that eSports teams have recently been losing money.
There are many other instances of this happening, including 100 Thieves laying off staff, The Guard parting ways with nearly entirely of its employees, and FaZe Clan reportedly losing over $300,000 a month running their Valorant team, among others.
While this trend may appear concerning for fans who want Valorant eSports to thrive, the competitive scene of the game is still in its infancy. In a New York Time article published in 2022, the CEO of Misfits Gaming, Ben Spoont, who is backed by the owners of the NBA team Orlando Magic and NFL’s Cleveland Browns, pointed out how the competitive gaming industry needs more time to turn profitable, saying “We were trying to accomplish as an industry what took the N.B.A. 50 years, but we were trying to do it within a five-year time period. Turns out that it doesn’t happen.” Mr Spoont also predicted that it might take competitive eSport another decade to turn in profits, and therefore, preferred to switch to content creation.