CLG likely to shut down, exiting esports entirely

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Esports may say goodbye to another iconic name soon, with CLG allegedly preparing to shut down entirely.

The esports industry continues to stumble in 2023, with multiple high-profile sponsorship deals and team partnerships continuing to fall through. CLG may be next, according to unconfirmed reports by established LoL journalist Travis Gafford. The company itself has not acknowledged these rumors, but it wouldn’t be out of place in the industry’s current economic landscape.

According to Gafford, CLG employees were informed on March 3, 2023 that the company would be laying off the entirety of its staff on April 6. The major exception will be its League of Legends team, which could be sold to NRG or another competing esports sponsor. It’s not yet known if such a deal would include CLG’s Challenger and Faith squads or only the LCS roster.

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CLG participates in over a dozen competitive titles, but the sponsor’s most famous esports team is its iconic LCS squad. The team has won multiple LCS playoff events and frequently placed highly in the North American league. CLG also sponsors players in Apex Legends, Valorant, Counter-Strike, and a variety of fighting games. All of those players will need to find a new sponsor or career if the shutdown rumors are true.

This news comes just a few days after the reveal that fellow North American esports org TSM would be shuttering most of its esports operations, including selling its LCS slot. With these two changes, the North American LoL circuit will look very different in the future.

What happens to CLG esports teams if the company shuts down?

With the exception of its LCS roster, the future of CLG’s various esports teams are looking grim.

Outside of its LCS players and staff, CLG currently sponsors 48 players, coaches, and content creators across several competitive titles. All of them will effectively lose their jobs if CLG truly does shut down on Thursday. That doesn’t include the organization’s non-esports staff, which includes dozens of designers, directors, managers, copywriters, and more.

The obvious route would be to find a home with another esports organization, but it’s not going to be as simple as sending in an application. The esports world is struggling to maintain funding in the current economic climate. Adding another team could be a tall order for CLG’s competitors.

Hopefully, the players and staff affected by CLG’s shuttering will land on their feet, in esports or otherwise.


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