Esports Cuts: Overwatch Cuts Season Length, Organizations Scale Back
At a time of rapid growth in the global esports industry, several leading esports organizations are scaling back their operations. In another area of esports, Blizzard decided to cut the length of the Overwatch League season ahead of its second run despite a successful season 1.
Do these recent esports cuts indicate trouble within? According to Esports Observer, the changes were made for a variety of reasons but none indicate trouble within a leading esports company.
Last week, Infinite Esports and Entertainment, the holding company with a majority stake in OpTic Gaming, made significant cuts to its organization. In all the company laid off 19 employees. It also removed co-founder Chris Chaney from his position as president, though he retains his ownership position.
Incoming president Ryan Musselman explained the shifts as the growing pains of a company that grew too fast. He said Infinite will continue its “holding company” approach to esports team ownership.
At the same time, Echo Fox dropped both its Gears of War and Call of Duty teams as well as several fighting game players. In a note published on Twitter, the company said the cuts were part of an effort to refocus.
Over the weekend, Blizzard announced plans to cut the OWL from 40 games in season 2. This goes for all teams in the 2019 franchise season. According to Blizzard, the change will give participating teams more time to market themselves, support their local fan bases, and produce content that is not directly related to competition.