GameBattles will shut its doors in January 2024 after over two decades of operation.

GameBattles, the long-lived and storied online tournament platform, is shuttering after over 20 years of operation. News of the site's impending shutdown was announced on the evening of Nov. 13 on the platform’s official social media.

Navigating to the site today will display a popup warning of the closure. It reads: “GameBattles Community, After careful consideration, we have decided to shut down the GameBattles platform and service as of January 15, 2024.”

GameBattles shutters

(Image via Ars Futura)
(Image via Ars Futura)

The closure ends a two-decade streak as an online gaming tournament platform. Founded in 2003, GameBattles was a household name for gamers during the formative years of esports. One of the first of its kind, GameBattles allowed users to create amateur and semi-professional tournaments, and take part in those tournaments, all online.

The company thrived in the early and mid 2000s under its then parent company Major League Gaming, growing to become the most-utilized tournament platform in all of gaming. However, following MLG’s acquisition by Activision Blizzard in 2016, GameBattles began to fall into obscurity. This came in the face of newer names like Battlefy, FACEIT, Epulze, and others.

After being acquired, GameBattles restricted itself to just Activision Blizzard titles, such as Overwatch, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft II, and numerous Call of Duty games. In a 2023 guide by EsportsCharts to online tournament providers, the platform wasn’t even listed, showing its dramatic decline. 

Former MLG employee, and founder of Esports Engine, Adam Apicella eulogized the service in a post on X:

“This GameBattles shuttering news is even worse because the industry needs MORE options for this exact service. The current OLT competitive landscape for platforms is filled with horrific tech built on dog water, lip stick on the pig technology stacks. GB could make a huge difference today and competition is sorely needed.”

GameBattles will officially shutter on Jan. 15, 2024. Users are recommended to visit the site’s support page for more information.

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