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Scott Kostov | 24. September 2022

How Carlos cost G2 eight figures with two tweets?

And just like that, in less than a week since the Andrew Tate incident, Carlos Ocelote Rodriguez is no longer part of G2 Esports.

G2 being denied Valorant franchising was such a huge blow to the organization and might have been the deal breaker for the board of directors. Under the watchful eye of Carlos, G2 has grown to be one of the biggest esports brands in the world. Their dominance in certain games has been unmatched, they set a blueprint for creating a successful business and garnered a large and devoted fan base. But like very often in life, the things that lifted them up eventually cemented their downfall. 

G2 affiliating with Andrew Tate

A week ago, G2 CEO and co-founder Carlos ”Ocelote” Rodriguez posted a video on Twitter of him celebrating life , accompanied by Andrew Tate. Unless you have been living under a rock for the entire year, you probably know why he is a controversial person. As ironic as it sounds, this came just after a few hours of G2 announcing they were going to field an all-female roster in League of Legends. The backlash was expected and plentiful, Carlos had enough time to delete the tweet and carry on with a simple apology. But instead, he did what Carlos does best. Throughout his successful entrepreneurship career, Carlos has never shied away from attention. All publicity is good publicity, right?

Carlos doubles down

While the video remains posted to this day, Carlos took it a step further. In a now infamous tweet, he doubled down on his stance, claiming that no one should be able to “police his friendships”. While this does hold true, the same cannot apply when you are the face and leader of the biggest esports brand in the world. He and G2 would later come out with separate PR statements, trying to defuse the entire situation. G2’s board of directors probably wasn’t fond of his latest public outburst, but nobody could deny his track record. As controversial as he was, Carlos Ocelote was a winner and made them a lot of money. Until he eventually lost.

G2 CEO Carlos Ocelote steps down after Valorant franchising fiasco

24 hours after the infamous video was posted, Valorant’s biggest international tournament of the year had concluded. The crowning of LOUD as the 2022 Valorant Champions, meant that free agency was just hours away. By Monday morning, reports were flooding the timeline, as teams geared up towards franchising in Valorant ahead of the 2023 season. This major step represented a huge business opportunity for everyone involved. So much so that G2 would apply for franchising in their domestic region, the EMEA, and in the highly contested and popular Americas.

With 600 thousand people tuning into a Sentinels regional match and 1,5 million viewers for the Valorant Champions Grand Finals, which included two Americas teams, the expectations were through the roof. The most popular team from Latin America, KRU Esports,  drew another 500 thousand viewers on the Spanish broadcast in their Valorant Champions 2021 run. Riot had intended to give G2 a slot in the Americas league, but backtracked and reconsidered after the mishandling of the situation. Now, G2 won’t be a part of any tier-one Valorant competition in 2023. Riot had been giving out golden eggs with the franchising process, and Carlos managed to fumble the bag. Reports are saying that the slot would be worth over 10 million $ and that G2 were already in talks of acquiring the entirety of XSET’s young and prosperous roster.

Yearly revenue, expanding their brand to the Americas, reaching a broader audience, apparel, and gear sales. Everyone and everything at G2 would thrive from this deal if those two tweets never happened. Now a week later, Carlos is out of G2. His creation, everything he helped build and prosper, was out of his control. As bad as the blunder was, continuing to associate with him, would hurt G2 long term. Nobody can deny Carlos’s legacy, the hard and innovative work he put in, and his accomplishments. Although his methods were controversial, they were tolerated until they were bad for business. Because in the end, that’s what esports actually are.

Header: Riot Games