Activision Blizzard lays off 50 esports staff as it prepares for a future without in-person events

By Sherif Saed
17 March 2021 09:25 GMT

Activision Blizzard has laid off around 50 employees.

Activision Blizzard has announced letting go of about 50 staff across its esports teams, affecting the people behind the Overwatch League, and the Call of Duty League.

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The decision, according to president of sports & entertainment, Tony Petitti, was made to better align the company for a future where face-to-face events are not the norm.

“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,” Petitti told Sports Business Journal.

Recently, both the Overwatch League, and the Call of Duty League have had to switch formats, from in-person live events worldwide to online-only matches.

“In terms of timing, it’s a reaction to the realities of how the leagues are playing and what resources we need to allocate to best serve the league, owners, teams and fans,” he added.

Those layoffs appear to be part of a bigger wave than what Activision has publicly communicated, however. According to Bloomberg, fewer than 190 employees were let go, including developers at Candy Crush maker King.

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