Why did Team Finest shut down esports operations?

The esports industry took a bit of a blow last week after Team Finest announced that they are closing down all of their professional esports teams, which includes popular CS:GO and Valorant teams. The team made the announcement on Twitter, leaving many esports enthusiasts in shock.

“It is with a heavy heart, but after nearly two years of successful esports operations and building up of the Finest brand and community, we are shutting down our professional esports operations,” read the announcement, continuing with: “This was not something we foresaw happening a couple of weeks back but rather one that was forced on us after key investors backed out of making further investments into the company. This was all due to macro-economic situations the world is presently facing and the fact that owning an esports team is still a very speculative investment.”

The Israeli organization went on to apologize for the abrupt nature of this announcement and thanked their numerous fans for the support over the years. They did, however, suggest that they’ll be in and around the gaming and esport industry in some capacity – although it does not look like they’ll be in the CS:GO and Valorant scene for some time.

Team Finest

Team Finest looked like they were on their way up

The team was fairly new to begin with, starting out in 2019, and made their name in CS:GO’s ESEA tournaments. They never really won the biggest of prizes but showed their potential in these EASA tournaments and looked set to take a step up eventually.

The team seemed to be on an upward curve, winning the Pinnacle Cup IV earlier this year in May, which is why this announcement came as a shock to a lot of esports enthusiasts. The fact that the organization had bought Monaco Esports in a deal that was worth $10 million just a few months ago makes it all the more surprising, considering that the size of the deal was supposed to be a statement of intent.

The Pinnacle Cup IV win was followed by a fourth-place finish in the Pinnacle Cup Championship, where they lost out to Heroic, who would go on to become the champions eventually. These were signs of progress and it felt like a matter of time before they’d sit on the same table as the team they lost to. They went as high up in the global CS:GO ranking as 19, which is no easy feat.

It wasn’t just in the CS:GO scene where they were pulling up trees. They won tournaments like the ERSUS LEGENDS and had relative success in VCT Europe. With the team only having started in 2020, these were good early signs. Earlier this year, they also finished in sixth place in the VRL 2022 East: Surge Stage 1. There is no news on what will happen to members of their roster but there’s no doubt that there is some real talent there. The CS:GO team members are likely to draw interest from some of the stronger organizations in the scene.

More trouble brewing around the ecosystem

It is not only Finest who are finding themselves in a pickle this fall. Several organizations are speculated to start consolidating assets and trying to weather an investor drought. We originally listed them, but got advised to edited them out. Regardless, you can easily notice them by them dropping out of entire esports, and releasing rosters.

We may be entering a growth slump in 2023. Recent global events and economic downturn has made all investments “risky”, esports included.