Tournament.com, an online gaming site that signed an exclusive Counter-Strike deal with Valve earlier in the year, has shut down.
At its launch in May of this year, the company announced it had entered into an agreement with Valve giving Tournament.com exclusive rights to the use of Counter-Strike and Half-Life 2 in online tournaments, a deal which forced other online gaming sites to stop offering the games.
Philip Wride, managing director of Elysium Gaming, blamed the failure on "fickle" gamers who were unwilling to pay for a service that was freely available elsewhere. "It's one of those services for gamers that gamers don't necessarily need in order for them to meet their requirements, in terms of having the places to play," Wride said. "They were trying to offer a service and make gamers pay for the potential opportunity to win something back."
"Now, gamers are notoriously fickle in that if they see an opportunity that will definitely give them a return, they'll go for it. If it's a luck-based thing, or even branded as a supposedly skill-based thing, they're more likely to question it and see what everybody else is doing first. And in this sort of market you need everybody on board from the off in order to get the return on investment," he said.
A message posted on the Tournament.com front page says the company's servers are "temporarily offline," and continues, "We have taken a step back to take a fresh view of our business model and have decided we need to change direction. We can give no guarantee as to when our service will resume." The site has halted all activities, and players have been issued notices telling them to contact site administrators by December 7 in order to claim any cash they may have in their accounts.