Berlin-based full-service gaming and esports marketing agency Freaks 4U Gaming announced Friday that it will transition the license to the Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC) to Denmark-based esports platform and organizer Leagues.gg—pending Riot Games approval—at the beginning of 2024.
In a statement released Friday, Freaks 4U noted that Leagues.gg had already been in operational control of the league during the 2023 season, but with this agreement, it will take over the full responsibility of the license.
In addition to being a marketing agency, Freaks4U Gaming is a global tournament organizer and is most active in the Western European countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH). The company secured the license to operate the league at the end of 2021.
Earlier this week, sources told The Esports Advocate that Freaks 4U was having some financial challenges and would end some of its esports activities as a result. Sources said the company would exit everything but the Prime League, the League of Legends esports ERL (European Regional League) for the DACH region founded in 2020 as the successor of the Premier Tour.
In addition to ending its NLC efforts, Freaks 4U lost its contract with ESL to run the ESL Meisterschaft – a national CS:GO championship in Germany – due to the Saudi Public Investment Fund-backed tournament organizer closing its ESL National Champions program with the launch of Counter-Strike 2. In a statement explaining the situation, Freaks 4U expressed its intention to develop a successor of that format.
When reached for comment earlier this week, a company representative told us:
“We consistently evaluate our portfolio of products and services to ensure alignment with the evolving needs and interests of our communities and clients in an ever-changing market. 2023 has been a challenging year for our industry and we are no exception. In order to remain financially sustainable, the company is currently undergoing the annual business strategy review and no decisions have been finalized, therefore any claims regarding changes in product ownership are premature. We appreciate your understanding as we navigate our ongoing strategic planning process.”
According to its announcement on Friday, Riot has already approved this transfer.
While sources claim that Freaks 4U Gaming is struggling financially, the company was one of the few to see revenue growth, even at the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic; In FY 2021, Freaks 4U Gaming reported revenues of €28.8M EUR ($31.3M USD) in 2021, a dramatic jump from €16M ($17.4M) in 2019, however, due to the economic situation, the company saw a €3.5M ($3.7M) profit in 2019 turn into a €141K ($153K) net loss in 2021.
Freaks 4U Gaming operates a marketing communications agency, runs video and content production services, does editorial work and community building for clients, and more. Over the years, Freaks 4U Gaming has worked with some of the biggest names and brands in esports and gaming including HyperX, LG, Electronic Arts, Amazon, AMD, ASUS, ESL FACEIT Group, Riot Games, Gigabyte, Gillette, Logitech G, Paysafecard, Red Bull, Sennheiser, ProSiebenSat 1 Media SE, and many others.