The Guard has laid off all of its creative, social, and content staff
by Danny Craig ·
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s (KSE) Los Angeles-based eSports organization The Guard has suddenly laid off all of its staff across its content, social, creative, and talent departments.
- It was reported that a large portion of The Guard's employees had their jobs terminated without warning on February 22. A tweet from the team's former apparel designer, @CARLIEB0T, quickly gained traction, claiming that "everyone's position" had been "eliminated." Hunter Grooms, a reporter and media personality for the team, confirmed the layoffs shortly after the tweet, stating that it was all staff on its content, social, talent, and creative teams.
- Although unconfirmed, the wave of job cuts was most likely caused by a combination of the world's current economic climate and the industry's lack of profitability. Many investors jumped into the world of esports in recent years, resulting in large sums of money being used to pay high salaries to players, build cutting-edge facilities, and hire staff to create social media content. The cash flow has begun to decrease, with prize pools and sponsorship money not covering the high expenses.
- There's no word on whether any organizational staff were affected by the layoffs, but given that the organization still has teams in major esports titles like Overwatch, Call of Duty, League of Legends, and VALORANT, they're likely to stay to keep things running behind the scenes. KSE could potentially release The Guard’s player rosters in the near future, reducing costs further.
Other esports layoffs in 2023:
- 100 Thieves laid off around 30 employees in January, including a number of staff in senior positions. President and COO John Robinson stated that the move was made due to a "challenging economic climate," with partnerships still being the team’s "biggest source of revenue."
- Earlier this month, FaZe Clan announced that it was undergoing a "reorganizational plan," which has so far resulted in cutting around 20% of its staff. CEO Lee Trink said that the layoffs occurred due to changes in the economic environment, with FaZe’s stock price dropping below $1, which could result in the company being delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange less than a year after going public.
- In January, OpTic Gaming let go of staff across various departments, including social media and team management. It’s unknown how many staff members were caught in the layoffs, but we do know via Dexerto that Brand Manager & Head of Marketing Lindsay Caudill and "all-rounder," Ian Houston, were out of jobs despite spending years at the organization before the Envy-OpTic merger.