Danish esports organization Copenhagen Flames announced on Monday that it has shut down. In a lengthy statement, Flames CEO Steffen Thomson said that the company was forced to let its entire staff—including its existing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) men’s and women’s teams—go and file for bankruptcy on Friday.
Thomson said that the company did everything it could over the last six months to raise capital to continue operating, but that he failed, saying that “for the past 6 months we have worked tirelessly to avoid this outcome but unfortunately we have failed. And for that I am deeply sorry. In the end it is my responsibility and I feel like absolute shit that it has come to this.”
Thomson said that the company worked hard to create different types of income streams such as “tournament organizing, a talent academy with paying students, team building events for companies, bootcamps for students, selling media production, and much more.” The end goal was to never rely too much on outside investors’ money, so it put a lot of its profits back into building the company and finding ways to grow.
“We succeeded to some extent when we delivered our first positive annual financial result in 2021, but unfortunately it did not last.”
Here’s the most relevant part of Thomson’s statement (you can read the entire thing here):
With the financial crisis and the way it affected us already at the end of last year, we started looking into how to reduce our spending. We cut the Fortnite roster and personnel on the 1st of January while analyzing all spending. We ramped up our search for partners and began investor talks early this year. We discussed different scenarios of reducing costs even further both internally and with potential investors and did pretty much everything to get a plan in place that would help us fund the club for another year. Throughout this process investors have been interested in the club, but have been put off by how the esports scene has developed the past year. Clubs cutting costs, terminating personnel, investors having to cover losses and so on. And of course the fact that we needed money straight away wasn’t exactly attractive. Sadly we were denied time and time again and failed to secure the funds needed to save the club.
Beyond the teams and coaches, it is unclear just how many people were affected by this shutdown. The organization was formed in 2016 and is best known in the CS:GO competitive esports ecosystem, though it has fielded teams in other games like Fortnite over the years. Before it went bankrupt, the Flames had rosters in CS:GO, an all-women CS:GO squad called the “Shield Maidens,” and an academy-level CS:GO team.