Analysis of a misadventure in Esports Crowdfunding

Analysis of a misadventure in Esports Crowdfunding

Being a professional player on Call of Duty today requires to travel regularly to the United States, resulting in very high costs.

This season, more than ever, the esports « Call of Duty » has largely refocused on the United States. Between the Pro Points, the international Pro League system and a single major event on European soil, it is impossible for EU and APAC players to hope for anything this year without travelling regularly to North America.

At each event, the players try to find a structure that will finance the trip, the team ticket and the expenses on site. Unfortunately, the costs of such an adventure can be very high without guaranteeing a return on investment to the structure.

With the third major event of the season, the CWL Atlanta, which is approaching and will be played from 9-11 March, many teams have once again found themselves in this situation. Some of them could be invited all expenses paid by qualifying for the CWL Pro League S1, such as the Vitality, or by winning the National League of their country, such as Overtime.

Others, on the other hand, have to find a self-financing solution. Two French teams, Monaco eSports and Supremacy, have done so and will try to get out of the Open bracket trap. Others were much less fortunate, such as the SunnyB, Niall, Nolson and Zerg team.

This team, which is very close to the European top, finished on a very good top two in the UK National League. Unfortunately, this was not enough to convince a structure to trust them. Although these players live on Call of Duty, they can’t afford to pay for such a trip. In desperation they therefore tried to appeal to the community through a crowdfunding platform.

Firstly, we didn’t want it to come down to this & it is literally the last option that we have as a team & any help is massively appreciated!

We have been screwed hard by multiple orgs who promised us that they would send us to the event and have pulled out on us last minute leaving us with literally nothing left or hope in order to get out to CWL Atlanta. This is literally our careers on the line, our lively hoods & jobs, said SunnyB on the crowdfunding platform to present his project.

The aim was to raise £3,000 (€3,366) in two days. Unfortunately, this objective has not been achieved in the time available. Players were only able to raise £645 (€724), thanks in large part to the participation of some of their fellow players such as Wuskin (£300, €337), Jurd (£100, €112) and MadCat (£75, €84).

This absence could cost the SunnyB team a lot of money by causing a significant Pro Points delay. A delay that they will have to catch up at the CWL Birmingham in England at the end of the month.


What we can learn from this misadventure:

  • Even in professional esports, the stability of the teams remains dependent on sponsors and brand commitment.
  • Never believe a company that promises to take you to a tournament without signing.
  • Crowdfunding and esports are not always the best allies: the campaign must be prepared weeks in advance, it is necessary to have relevant influencers and intermediaries (media, partners, etc.), the duration of the campaign must be long enough to be able to bounce and create the buzz (here 2 or 3 days are clearly not enough), it is essential to offer attractive rewards for the bakers, the project description must arouse emotion and appeal to storytelling…
  • The crowdfunding platform must be able to « filter » projects and support them in their success.
  • Another possible option for teams looking for partners, sponsors or investors is to be supported by recognized esports agencies and work together over the long term.

Note & source: the topic (and part of the translation) of this post comes from a french post on

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