The E-Sports World’s Future Is Uncertain as Growth Stalls

Some e-sports teams, like Evil Geniuses, have parted ways with many of their expensive League of Legends players. Others, like 100 Thieves, are laying off employees and senior executives.

The stock price for FaZe Clan, an e-sports group that went public last year, has plunged to just 50 cents a share. In March, FaZe received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq, warning it could be removed from the stock exchange if its shares did not climb back above $1. And on Friday, FaZe said it was laying off about 40 percent of employees, after a round of cuts in February. The news was earlier reported by Digiday.

Jack Etienne, the chief executive of Cloud 9, an e-sports group, said he had cut costs by pulling out of nearly half the e-sports leagues his organization participated in, now eight from about 15.

TSM, one of the most valuable e-sports organizations, said Saturday that it was selling its slot in the League Championship Series. It’s a big blow to the league, akin to a marquee franchise leaving the N.B.A. or N.F.L., because TSM is one of the oldest and most prominent brands in North American e-sports.

TSM started talking to interested groups around three weeks ago, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions, and has narrowed its list of prospective buyers to about a dozen entities, mostly in the media and traditional sports worlds. The asking price is in the range of $20 million, the person said.

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