Slingshot Esports to close doors today, lays off staff

Esports website Slingshot Esports is closing its doors today, ceasing operations after two years.

CEO Joe Ragazzo posted a statement to the website on Monday, entitled“A letter to our readers.”In the post, Ragazzo mentions that Slingshot was unable to find the funding to continue to operate.

Slingshot was well regarded in the esports journalism space, one of America’s best known esports websites. However, it seems the company was a victim of the struggle many in esports content creation are facing in that, with a glut of esports content and the ease of creating for even the most casual fans, it’s proving nearly impossible to monetise.

Slingshot’s story isn’t a death knell for the esports journalism industry, but it’s a high-profile casualty as the esports boom starts to settle somewhat.

Earlier this month, Ragazzo wrote a piece on the site talking about advertisement revenue, laying bare the problem with the ad-driven model for esports journalism: “In the esports industry, ad blocking can be as high as 75 percent of readers. So of that $1,500 earned from story with 1 million pageviews, knock off 75 percent: you’re left with $375. At that monetization rate, you will be out of business in no time. Even if you had five ads on the site, you’re still talking about only $1,875.”

Ragazzo is keen to point out that few websites get 1m views a month, let alone on a single story.

As always when we report on fellow esports journalists losing their jobs, I want to take a second to wish the staff and those involved behind the scenes a relatively painless transition to new roles. Reporting redundancies is never the easiest task, but when an outlet goes under in the esports space it’s particularly affecting. Our thoughts go out to those affected.

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