Disguised Toast's patreon bid reveals bleak state of esports
Faced with an unforgiving esports landscape marked by evaporating sponsorships and elusive revenue streams, popular streamer Jeremy "Disguised Toast" Wang is turning to Patreon to finance his new organisation Disguised (DSG).
His bold move arrives amidst the chilling "esports winter," a term coined to describe the state of the industry during which teams are desperately seeking new financial lifelines to sustain their operations.
In a candid video to his supporters, Disguised Toast talked about his understanding of the realities of esports financials and promised further transparency in the future.
Disguised Toast shows the rough state of esports
Painting a stark picture of the esports landscape, Wang didn't mince words in a recent video update: "The esports industry is one of the worst ones to get into. All esports orgs in North America are either broke or going broke, and I do mean all of them."
Despite Disguised's higher engagement levels on social media and YouTube, sponsorships have been elusive, leaving the brand grappling with $1 million in operational costs.
As Toast related an anecdote about a high-profile energy drink brand turning down a sponsorship deal due to lack of profitability in esports, the issue at the core became clear - insufficient engagement on esports content, turning sponsors away.
"Esports orgs are just absolutely terrible at making good content," he stated bluntly. While merchandising can serve as a revenue source, it's a slow process, requiring time to create quality products, he argued.
In the meantime, Wang is banking on Patreon. "It keeps DSG going and buys me more time while I figure out how to make it all work.”
Transparency for trust
In an innovative move to build trust with fans, Toast is pledging financial transparency for his Patreon campaign.
He emphasized, "If we're asking for fan support, then it is really imperative that we are transparent with how that money is spent. We have to be financially responsible." The Patreon funds will directly support the players and staff of Disguised, ensuring the brand's survival, so Wang.
As esports teams continue to navigate the challenging sponsorship landscape, Disguised Toast's fan-centric, transparent approach may offer a new model for staying afloat amid industry-wide struggles.