Dot Esports' Owner GAMURS Acquiring Upcomer, Destructoid and Other Enthusiast Editorial Assets
The acquisition marks the consolidation of two former competitors.
Surprise! It’s Monday. I usually take the day off from writing today—but when there’s breaking news, I will be there. Today, I’m reporting on my former employer, GAMURS, so, disclosure: I used to work there. That said, with the trend of gaming media consolidation, I felt this was an important story to cover.
Dot Esports owners GAMURS Group is acquiring Upcomer, Destructoid, The Escapist and other editorial assets belonging to Canadian holding company Enthusiast Gaming, sources familiar with the deal told The Jacob Wolf Report.
The total of the acquisition was not disclosed. It is the latest in a string of acquisitions by GAMURS, which owns stalwart esports site Dot Esports, nerd culture publication We Got This Covered, women's culture site The Mary Sue, games guide creator Prima Games and many others. The Sydney-based company has been aggressive in the acquisition market over the past 18 to 24 months.
The sale comes after Enthusiast gutted the budget across several of its websites in 2022. Enthusiast laid off the bulk of the editorial staff at Upcomer in March, less than a year after it relaunched the site under its ownership. Layoffs included many of Upcomer’s writers, social media staff and others in a “pivot to video,” including an increased focus on Snapchat shows.
The Jacob Wolf Report is a reader-supported venture. Free and paid versions are available. The best way to support us here is by taking out a paid subscription.
How GAMURS will integrate Upcomer, Destructoid and The Escapist—which have significant overlap with its existing gaming editorial websites—is unclear. GAMURS did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Over the past year, gaming and esports news sites have fallen increasingly on hard times. In July, Inven Global shut down its esports department, laying off much of its staff. On Sept. 15, Fanbyte—a gaming site backed by Tencent—let go a significant portion of its editorial staff.
For esports specifically, though, Dot Esports is one of the two websites that has found profitability, with an estimated 16.9 million total visits in July 2022, according to SimilarWeb. The site has found success in expanding its wings outside of hardcore esports content and focusing on game-related coverage with optimal search engine keywords, feeding its content to Google News.
GAMURS CEO Riad Chikhani has repeatedly said on Twitter that the website is profitable and has been over the past few years. The company posted on LinkedIn on Sept. 23 that the GAMURS network of websites brought in nearly 100 million page views in August 2022.
In July 2021, GAMURS completed a fundraising round led by Elysian Park Ventures, the private investment fund backed by the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The company’s total round amounted to $7.35 million AUD ($4.74 million USD), according to Australia’s Financial Review.
Thank you for reading The Jacob Wolf Report. This post is public so feel free to share it.