Troubled real estate company WeWork is in the midst of a massive $9.5 billion bailout after a series of events left the company in ruins. However, the company is hoping to rebound through the rise of esports. WeWork is hoping to branch into the market using their considerable real estate assets to serve as hosting grounds for local events and tournaments, but the plan is far from foolproof.
Reports suggest that WeWork is calling their esports wing “Play by We,” which goes in line with other subsidiaries the company has opened up and are currently using to siphon money from. Though there is no massive hiring underway, the company is in the early stages of setting out their business strategy and overall vision as 2020 comes around the corner. Beyond these initial reports, there is no indication of which games the company will choose to compete in, although these developments comes amidst an industry-wide shift to amateur esports in 2020.
WeWork valuation history...2010: company foundedJul 2012: $97mMay 2013: $440mFeb 2014: $1.5bDec 2014: $5bJun 2015: $10.2bOct 2016: $16.9bAug 2017: $20bJan 2019: $47bOct 2019: $8b
— Charlie Bilello (@charliebilello) October 24, 2019
The article published by Forbes goes into further detail about WeWork’s troubles and its attempts to revitalize itself following the decimating turn of events. WeWork went from being worth $47 billion at the beginning of the year to having to accept the aforementioned buyout from SoftBank to keep it afloat. As WeWork restructures, about a third of their workforce lost their jobs.
Obviously, there's potential in this move being that WeWork should be completely made over by the time “Play by We” goes live, and the catalog of locations for tournaments can make them a viable sponsor for existing teams. Much along the lines of Nerd Street Gamers’ push in Philadelphia and Five Below stores serving as gaming hubs, WeWork’s gaming platform can quickly branch out across the country.
Outside of that, there is an inherent risk that the company will continue to falter under reconstruction. In less than a year, enough bad decisions left the company on life support, and thousands of people lost their jobs. Branching out to the trending esports business is a predictable move that many companies with sluggish returns or needing to expand their brand are going to take in the years to come, but WeWork’s participation reeks of desperation.