Blizzard’s esports division is among those affected by Microsoft’s layoffs

Blizzard’s esports division is among those affected by Microsoft’s layoffs

We’ve learned more about those affected by Microsoft’s devastating layoffs, as several workers in Blizzard’s esports division revealed on Tuesday that they have been laid off at the company.

Less than a week ago, we learned that Microsoft would be laying off 1,900 workers from its video game workforce. Today, several people within the company’s esports teams and operations have been informed that they have been laid off from their jobs. According to a post on X/Twitter by CharlieIntel, an account that covers all things Call of Duty, Microsoft has laid off the majority of its esports team. CharlieIntel estimates about a dozen people will remain on the esports team overall.

The layoffs aren’t just affecting Call of Duty esports, they appear to be hitting all of Microsoft’s esports brands, including the Overwatch League. Those who were laid off took to social media to announce their impact.

“After 7 years of service, I have been laid off by Blizzard. Working there has been a dream come true and I am sad that my time has been cut short,” Swee Geschwind wrote. x/twitter. “(Yes, I was ready for this call with champagne… I should celebrate the good times and opportunities!) What’s next? I’m present!”

“I’ve been part of the layoffs at Blizz Esports. I started over 6 years ago and in that time I’ve been able to produce multiple grand finales, been nominated for Emmys, and brought joy to the fans,” Nick Edmunds wrote. x/twitter. “But what I will miss most are the talented and passionate people I worked with. They are the best and deserve the best.”

“They did it, they really did it. They let us work with that in over our heads and laid us off on our first day off,” Scott Parkin wrote. x/twitter. “The lack of public decency is a joke.”

IGN understands that the layoffs are a fraction of the previously reported number of 1,900 – and those working in the esports division were informed on Tuesday. According to X/Twitter, it appears that Microsoft was waiting for many of those who were laid off to finish events or projects they were working on, including the Boston Major that happened last weekend.

One source tells us that these layoffs don’t mean the esports division is completely gone at Blizzard, despite the reduced workforce. But if Charlie Intel’s estimates are accurate, that number would drop dramatically.

This news continues a trend of industry-wide layoffs that affected an estimated 10,000 people in 2023 and shows no signs of stopping in 2024. It is estimated that over 5,600 people have already been laid off from the gaming industry in January alone.

Microsoft is currently valued at more than $3 trillion. It is the second company to reach this milestone, behind only Apple.

IGN has reached out to Microsoft for official comment.

Thumbnail source: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Will Borger is a freelance journalist for IGN. You can find him on Twitter bywillborger.

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