Multiple sources have told The Esports Advocate over the last two weeks that Philadelphia-based tournament organizer and Localhost – a LAN gaming center chain – owner Nerd Street Gamers is struggling financially and has been talking to other companies about options.
Several sources (who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation) have told TEA that Nerd Street has serious financial liabilities and is looking for a way to get itself out of debt.
Other sources (who also asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation) have told TEA that company representatives have approached other operators in the space including Vindex-owned Belong Gaming Arenas, eFuse, PlayFly Esports/PlayFly Sports, LeagueSpot, and VC firms including one of its original investors, SeventySix Capital, about a possible acquisition or further investment.
TEA reached out to Nerd Street in January and again on Tuesday but the company did not respond to our requests for comments. TEA also reached out to Belong Gaming Arenas owner Vindex, eFuse, PlayFly, LeagueSpot, SeventySix Capital, and several board members. None responded to our request for comments.
Earlier this month, TEA reported that Nerd Street cut 25% of its staff, and on Jan. 5, we reported that the company was struggling to pay off obligations from official Riot Games-sanctioned Valorant tournaments from as far back as the summer of 2022. At the time, the company told TEA that it was working through settling all of its past obligations, but the company has still not paid everyone involved in those competitions (as first reported by Dot Esports’ reporter Scott Robertson on Tuesday).
On Jan. 19, multiple casters and players responded to a tweet from Valorant caster Ethan “Sully” Tran, who asked Nerd Street publicly when he was going to get paid.
They wrote: “Hey! Nerd Street it’s been over 5 months! Can I please get paid!!!!”
Other people responding to the tweet also said that they had not been paid by the company yet including (but not limited to) Valorant players Matthew “Wedid” Suchan, Tyler “sym” Porter, Tyler “Tkaz” Kazmierczak, Dawn “dawnmoer” Park, Peter “Governor” No, and caster Marcus “Marks” Wong.
Some responding to the thread said that Nerd Street had told them that the delay in payment was due to a change in its accounting procedures, but even after receiving a response those people have not received what they are owed.
TEA has reached out to multiple players and talent that have not been paid and will update this story should they respond.
One thing we do know is that Nerd Street Gamers is still operating online tournaments, and has not filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (the jurisdiction where it would have to file for bankruptcy), as of this writing.