Restructuring cited as a necessity due to the coronavirus pandemic
Activision Blizzard has confirmed that it will be announcing plans later today for a restructuring of its esports division. Unfortunately, however, said restructuring won’t be a happy one based on the information we have regarding it so far.
Initially reported on earlier today by The Esports Observer, Activision Blizzard Esport’s proposed restructuring will result in a rather sizable layoff, which will ultimately cost about 50 people their jobs. The reasoning for doing so, according to top executive Tom Petitti, is due to the adverse effects suffered by the company amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Petitti also explained earlier this morning in an interview with Sports Business Journal/The Esports Observer that their esports division, which runs the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues, is attempting to recreate itself in a way that will allow it to remain sustainable without relying on live events as much as it did in the past—while also promising that live events would not be entirely snuffed out.
“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,” said Petitti during the interview. “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.”
While details were scarce regarding the layoff itself, Petitti did make clear that their decision to do so was not something spur-of-the-moment, stating that “you never take anything like this lightly; these are our colleagues and something you spend a lot of time on thinking about making the best decisions you can make.”
Despite the grim outlook for the approximately 50 employees at Activision Blizzard Esports, Petitti remains quite optimistic for the division itself, stating that there has already been a noticeable growth in both the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues and that both he and all of this colleagues are working to ensure that said growth continues.
What are your thoughts on the Activision Blizard Esports layoff, and the changes being made to the OWL and CDL? Let us know in the comments below.