Recently it has been announced that Pandemic’s Team Fortress 2 squad has left the organization. The team is a hot one after just winning dual championships: one in CEVO-P and one in ESEA-I, just a few weeks ago. Pandemic’s manager Chris Lemley made a post on a GotFrag thread that stated:
We were one of the first major American organizations to really support TF2, actually the second from what you might call the household ‘esports circles’ behind 20id. It’s been a great game for us online, and I’m happy to have supported it throughout the ups and downs.
Somehow, through it all, we were always able to come out on top in the game — I don’t know how that worked out :), but this is unfortunately another down.
What you’re seeing here, as odd as it is to say it, is the lessening of the value of an organization’s sponsorship.
When the core of a “pro-gaming” sponsorship is LAN fees and travel expenses, and there have been no major TF2 LANs (to date) since NVISION, you lose alot of your pull. I think we all can agree that 2009 has been a dry year for competitive gaming top-to-bottom.
If this had been the case of losing out to a better offer financially, organizations like mine could certainly compete… but that wasn’t the case. Instead, we’re looking at a time when players are starting to question if it’s worth subjecting themselves to the sponsors, promotions, etc. when they’re getting virtually nothing in return.
I don’t think Carnage and the team will mind me letting the cat out of the bag a bit here, but they’re essentially going grass roots with this — a move for their own enjoyment. If they’re going to have more fun playing under this new tag and feel more at home, what’s stopping them? It appears that, at least in the short term, there’s nothing to lose.
If things were to pick up and finances became a burden then it’s very likely that they may regret this move; I’m sure teams would be lining up around the block to get our money. On the other hand, how likely is a sudden influx of multiple major TF2 LANs across the country?
It’s a rebuilding year for us all and this is just further proof that in order to be successful, industry leaders must find ways to bridge the gap between the hardcore and the mainstream, offer new – not outplayed – services and interactions, and leave much of the past behind. These models aren’t working as they are. It’s time for change.
We are still waiting to see where the roster will move to next. Stay tuned for updates!
The ex-Pandemic.TF2 roster is: