Echo Fox announced an organizational realignment as it released its entire Gear of War and Call of Duty squads along with Street Fighter V star, Punk.
President of Echo Fox Jared Jeffries said these moves were part of an overall change for the organization designed to focus resources on remaining players and teams.
He thanked everyone for their time and effort building Echo Fox into a major esports brand. FGC players released include Injustice 2 and Mortal Kombat player Scar along with Theo.
The biggest announced release was Punk who left Panda Global in March 2018. Punk spent less than six months on the Echo Fox roster. He just recently won CPT Thunderstruck in Monterrey, Mexico, and Scar finished top 16 at EVO in Las Vegas.
These are just the latest org moves shaking esports. Optic parted ways with Romain and KyKy.
Taken individually, some may see moves like this as part of doing business and just another day at the office. However, the macro perspective opens a more sinister can of worms. Is money drying up? Are big names pricing themselves out of jobs? Is esports hitting a revenue plateau?
The orgs making these moves aren’t flying by the seat of their pants. These are big brands with major backing that are choosing to step away from recognized names and AAA game titles. For all the gravitas and online name recognition they have, Optic Gaming and Echo Fox aren’t afraid to make hard choices. Optic dropped its successful Halo squad in March 2018. This was after the team won the 2017 Halo World Championships.
Depending on with whom you speak, the decision to drop Halo was just a matter of not being able to reach an agreement. However, Optic has yet to sign another squad.
Echo Fox aggressively jumped into many games upon its formation in 2016. At one point the supported rosters and players for 13 games. There was a particular emphasis on the FGC community as all major titles were given space on the roster. Street Fighter, Tekken, Injustice 2, Mortal Kombat, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 all occupied space on the squad.
The questions posed above lead to more considerations. Ponder for a moment whether major game publishers are squeezing orgs for promotional time and dollars. Perhaps older titles like Call of Duty, Halo, and Gears of War don’t pull they younger eyeballs necessary to sustain explosive growth. Gamers are quite tribal and blindly loyal to games from their youth.
The question of money will always drive the narrative, and it begs this question: Have players demanded too much too soon and created an unsustainable demand for pay? Maybe this is the market correction necessary for the industry to keep moving forward.