Forward Gaming has announced its immediate closure ahead of the team’s attempt to take home The International’s top prize.
The announcement came from CEO David Dashtoyan in a blog post outlining the situation. In it, we learn that financial struggles forced his hand in the decision.
There aren’t many hard details available as to where its money has gone, but Forward Gaming is broke and can’t pay player salaries for July. They also can’t pay out $36,000 in prize money owed. Part of that money went toward paying them the month prior.
Players had only learned of the company’s struggles in June. It was then that Forward Gaming players were told things would come to a close following the Epicenter Major.
Dashtoyan said he tried to salvage the situation and extended that timeline through the end of TI9 qualifiers, but came up short after.
The timing for Forward Gaming’s players couldn’t be worse. They’re left searching for help in the final hour just a few weeks out from the group stage that will determine brackets and seeding for the main event at TI9
The newly freed team will shop around for a sponsor or existing esports organization who can help them travel to and compete at TI9 for the $30 million prize pool.
There’d surely be enough incentive for a prospective bidder. The team would earn $75,000 by merely attending TI9. Considering Forward Gaming coasted through the North American qualifiers without a single loss, it has the potential to win more than just a participation trophy.
Ex-Forward Gaming players didn’t seem too upset in reactionary tweets about the sudden end. Forward Gaming simply didn’t have the money to push any further forward, and that means the short-lived organization is no more.
Valve will host Dota 2’s The International tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Competition starts August 15.