Late last year, gigantic porn site YouPorn announced that they'd acquired a pro DOTA 2 team, and every publication on Earth -- probably even Highlights Magazine -- gave them a headline. But was it anything more than a marketing ploy? Curious, I decided to look into what's happened since.
Once upon a time Team YP's plan was to compete in DOTA 2 and Hearthstone, and then potentially grow branches dedicated toLeague of Legends, Counter-Strike, and SMITE. So far, however, only the DOTA 2 team has materialised, and even that seems to be wavering.
Turns out, Team YP (as they're known in order to get around having a massive, throbbing instance of the word "porn" in their name) hasn't really been up to much at all since shortly after their formation. The Spanish team competed in one semi-major event, Gamergy 2014, in order to herald their re-christening (they were formerly known as Play2Win) where they placed third. They then settled into a cycle of streaming, hosting competitions, and selling merch.
The merch was rolled out days after the team's re-branding. It is, shall we say, prominently displayed on Team YP's Twitch channel, Facebook page, and Instagram. It's not unusual for eSports teams to sell merchandise. They just, you know, usually do stuff to justify peddling logo-emblazoned wares.
For a while, the team was at least fairly active on social media -- posting statuses, memes, and contests every couple of days on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and streaming on Twitch -- but since the end of February even that presence has dropped off significantly. They don't appear to have used their Twitch channel much since the end of February, and many players stopped tweeting often or at all around then as well. Axineas, listed as one of the team's managers, has disappeared off Twitter altogether.
The official Team YP Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have also slowed to a drip-feed of updates, with no updates on team status or anything truly substantial posted in months. That said, the team's website has displayed a recruiting banner for quite a few months, and the team welcomed a new member at the end of March. But again, the team has done very little as, well, a team since then -- or at all, really.
I reached out to Team YP's main contact addresses as well as a couple of the team members and gave them nearly a week to respond. I asked for basic info about what their goals are for the year 2015 and why things have gotten so quiet in the past few months. As of writing, I've yet to receive any response.
— Team YP Official (@TeamYPOfficial) April 2, 2015
Team YP's main channels haven't updated at all since the beginning of April. The last post, distributed across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, was a throwback to the first and only major tournament Team YP has competed in thus far. Maybe Team YP is just getting started, revving its engines as opposed to stalling out at the starting line, but it's tough to see this and not be worried by the inactivity. It's awesome when major entities from outside the world of eSports come in and lend their weight and influence to the scene. But if we look back on all this someday and come to the conclusion that YouPorn ghosted after a brief hit of publicity, well, that will be a damn shame.
Picture: Arturo Bracero