Azubu Korea closes doors, SC2 team to remain, future of LoL sponsorships unclear
The Korean branch of Azubu will cease to exist effective today, reports Gamefocus.co.kr. While the future of most of Azubu's operations is uncertain, it looks like the StarCraft 2 roster will continue to be supported for the time being.
According to the source, all Korean employees of Azubu have been released so that the Korean headquarters can be closed by June 28th, 2013. The announcement to cease operations on Korean soil comes as sudden and, apparently, SC2 team's very head coach Lim Sung Choon is among the employees who were not told of the situation.
"I never heard about it. We never got this information, I will have to check," are Lim's words of frustration.
Although the source states that the StarCraft 2 roster will continue to be supported by Azubu's German HQ, the miscommunication within the Azubu brand is certainly a reason to doubt how long the team, currently housing prominent players like Violet, Symbol and Supernova among others, will continue to operate.
The closing of the Korean branch of Azubu comes after more than a year of numerous eSports investments by the company, a company of which little is know still. Originally founded in 2011, Azubu stepped into the scene by sponsoring the $179,000 Azubu The Champions tournament for League of Legends, giving the finalists Blaze and Frost sponsorships upon event's completion. Their involvement with the StarCraft 2 scene came in August 2012 when Korean Zerg Kim "Violet" Dong Hwan was picked for a personal sponsorship and remained the only player on the roster until Azubu started actively hiring new players in December of the same year. By that time, no information on where Azubu's seemingly inexhaustable funds are coming from was provided.
Currently, Azubu's operations span across provoding SNS, streaming (Azubu.tv, which is also one of the sponsors of Riot's LCS circuit) and media services, sponsorships of two League of Legends teams (Taipei Snipers and Taipei Assassins) and a World of Tanks team, as well as the aforementioned StarCraft 2 team. Bar the latter, the future of each of these is unclear.