ENCE recently had a record-breaking year whereas most organizations in the sector routinely reveal losses and some have even been forced to close.
In 2022, ENCE had its most profitable year to date. Over €0.9 million of the company’s €4 million in earnings for the year came from net profit, an increase of €1.4 million from the previous record set in 2019 and a marked improvement over the previous two years (a loss of €223,000 in 2020 and €169,000 in 2021).
This represents one of the few success stories in the ‘esports winter,’ a term coined to describe the recent financial struggles of the sector. One of the most recent examples of a large esports organization struggling to stay afloat is Heroic, which is changing ownership after months of financial turmoil. Other smaller organizations, like Tricked, Copenhagen Flames, and KOVA, have completely shut down after going bankrupt.
As Valve’s first-person shooter is currently the Finnish company’s only major team after it parted ways with StarCraft and PUBG players earlier in 2023, much of ENCE’s success comes from its crown jewel, the CS:GO team, into which it has recently focused much of its efforts.
The team led by Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer came out as one of the best in the world in the first half of 2022, finishing second at IEM Dallas, fourth at PGL Major Antwerp, and runners-up at ESL Pro League Season 15. ENCE also qualified for the second Major, IEM Rio, even if they were unable to recreate that performance in the second half of the year after signing Lotan “Spinx” Giladi to Vitality.
The organization’s participating in both Majors of the year and the associated sticker money contributed significantly to ENCE having its greatest year by far.
The fact that ENCE is one of the 15 teams that ESL has partnered with as part of the Louvre Agreement, which gives the organization a permanent spot in two ESL Pro League seasons annually, some spots in other ESL Pro Tour competitions, and a cut of the proceeds from both products, is another important consideration.
Of course, this also is valid to other organizations, but ENCE does not reliant on outside funding in contrast to many other organizations that are a part of that partnership system and often participate in Majors. It appears to make better use of its resources, notably by emphasizing the development of young talent rather than signing up expensive and seasoned players. Thanks to efficient scouting, the CS:GO team has been fighting above its weight since 2022.
The company is confident that it will be able to prosper going ahead, but it might just have to wait until at least the following year before it reaches the record-breaking 2022.