Activision Blizzard Esports Layoffs

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Photo Courtesy via Raimond Spekking

Blizzard Entertainment has seen some success since going to online play but they believe they can see more success. This of course comes from the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League.

On March 16, 2021, Activision Blizzard Esports announced that they will be reconstructing how they run things which resulted in laying off about 50 employees. Tony Petitti is the Activision Blizzard President of Sports and Entertainment. In an interview he didn’t mention what position or who exactly they laid off. He also talked about how the layoffs are due to how the group had to re-invent due to the pandemic.

Future Plans for the Esports

Tony Petitti talked about the division which runs the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League wants to change things. As a matter of fact he mentioned a future that was less dependent on live events. Petitti made sure everyone knew that Activision Blizzard isn’t moving 100% away from live events. He is gonna be looking to get them back as soon as they possibly can. However, the OWL and CDL have changed the way they run the leagues switching to all online play. It is a possibility that online play can play a big part in the future of these two esports.

Reasoning for the Layoffs

Petitti stated that there were two reasons for the cut offs. First it was due to needing to reduce the costs in certain areas. Second was to put certain resources in other areas where the company is looking to pursue. He also stated that, “We learned a lot last year in terms of how the leagues can be structured for online play, and we’ll look to carry forward the best practices from that.” This comes from the success that the CDL saw after moving to online play and reaching more than 100,000 views on a match.

Positives for the Company

Petitti mentioned CDL, which has already started its 2021 season, has seen improvement from last year. Therefore the company wants to spend money on areas that will get the esport higher engagement, viewership, and returns. He believes that the CDL and OWL will see improvement in the 2021 seasons. Although the OWL is having a hard time gaining views in North America, the company is positive for the future. As a matter of fact they are creating an “East” circuit for the season with teams based in Asia. They believe that this will give the OWL the opportunity to grow as an esport.

 

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