The future was looking bright for Endemic Esports in the Heroes of the Storm scene. Once the 2018 Heroes Global Championship circuit ended after BlizzCon in November, Endemic worked to put together their official roster for the 2019 season.
It was settled. Josh “bkid” Choi, Sammuel “bigempct” Hua, Dane “Daneski” Coleman, Vi “ViN” Nguyen and Liam “Liam” O’Malley would be the squad that Endemic would rock and try to contend in the North American region with.
Then, Activision Blizzard put an end to that dream with one swift press release on December 13, ending their support of the professional Heroes of the Storm scene.
The community was shaken, organizations that had invested money into the 2019 season, furious, and players whose gaming careers relied on the income, lost.
This past week, Endemic Esports, led by Chief Executive Officer, Michael Reilly, released a statement that they had partnered with ULT, an apparel company, to support the players who never got the chance to represent their org in the new year.
Within the statement, Endemic vowed to give back 100% of the proceeds they received from sales of the shirt to the players of the team, even those who never played an official match under the organization’s banner. The news, according to Reilly, was a complete surprise to his players.
Even though Endemic is involved in numerous other esports titles, such as PUBG, Hearthstone and Street Fighter, according to Reilly, Heroes of the Storm was something special:
“HotS meant a lot to ENDEMIC. It was our first team-based title and we selected it because we felt that the production value and casters were top notch; not to mention we loved playing the game ourselves and had already enjoyed working with Blizzard via our Hearthstone players finding a lot of success in the HCT. So joining the HGC felt like an obvious choice.”
When the news broke that Activision Blizzard would no longer be supporting the competitive scene, Reilly was just as devastated as his players and went to work on a solution.
“Naturally, we were heartbroken when the league was suddenly canceled. The very first thing that came to my mind was “What are the players going to do?” immediately followed by “What can we do as an organization?” First thing I knew the players needed was some sense of reassurance; we had all just found out together at the exact same time. So I immediately put out a statement and called for an all-hands meeting on Discord,” said Reilly.
Within the team conversation, Reilly wanted to make it clear to his players that Endemic still supported them and would work to help them transition over to a new game if they wanted to.
While the future is unknown for the former Heroes of the Storm pro players of Endemic, the organization is going to work with them to help carve out a new future in esports while trying to support them financially in creative and unique ways.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.