While a lot of the media have been heavily pushing e-sports as the next big thing (even though it’s really not), a bunch of websites thought that they could make bank on the audiences who stream and watch e-sports competitions all the time. Kotaku and Deadspin decided to embark on a joint venture and jump into the fray with Compete, a vertical based on e-sports news and editorials. Well, after a year of being in service, the Compete brand is now shutting down.
Through the Compete.Kotaku.com sub-domain, Dennis Young wrote a short blurb on June 29th, 2018 about Compete’s short-lived time on the market, where it launched in March of 2017, and is now sit to shut down in July of 2018.
“Esports coverage at the company will live on at Kotaku, but this joint project that Deadspin and Kotaku started in March 2017 to cover competitive gaming is ending.
“[…] Eric [Van Allen] and I are accepting buyouts and leaving the company—please hire us—while Maddy will remain as an editor at Kotaku. We’re proud of the work we did, and while this part of it is over, we believe readers will have a chance to see it continue at this company and elsewhere.”
As noted by VP Esports, the Compete brand was riddled with controversial hate-bait topics. This included a feature talking about how odorous the FGC members for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros., were, as well as stirring up gender-divides within the Overwatch League by complaining about a lack of female competitors signed on to compete in the league.
It was all typical Kotaku fanfare, and not the kind of stuff that lured in the FGC the way Event Hubs or Shoryuken does, and certainly nothing noteworthy enough to capture the ever-fleeting interest in gaming exhibited by Overwatch’s casual audience.
The sort of anti-gaming, politically-charged flavor that big websites have become known for carried over into Kotaku’s Compete, meaning that most core gamers likely paid them little mind.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how business observers take the news given that the current efforts to bring e-sports into the collective conscious of mainstream casual consumers hasn’t gone over too well.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)