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Activision Blizzard Reportedly let go of 83% of Esports Staff

Just a skeleton crew is left to oversee Call of Duty and Overwatch esports operations

On Sunday, January 28, the Call of Duty League Boston Breach Major I tournament concluded. It was an incredible event, with Toronto Ultra coming out victorious in a 4-1 victory over Atlanta FaZe. However, just two days later, Activision Blizzard have reportedly let go of 60 out of the 72 staff in their esports division, leaving just 12 employees. This is a cut of 83%, and sees some of the most talented members of the esports community without work.

On January 25, 2024, Microsoft revealed that 1,900 Activision Blizzard and Xbox employees had been laid off. However, the staff working at the Call of Duty League Major in Boston were not informed until today. Scott Parkin, Senior Manager of Esports Operations at Activision Blizzard described how they were given “zero reassurances [they] will have a job when [they] get back home”.

Unfortunately, Scott was one of the 60 individuals let go today.

Along with Scott, all of the full-time observing staff at the Call of Duty League were also let go. The observing staff were the backbone of the Call of Duty League, highlighting every single play, and ensuring a smooth running of the broadcast. The Call of Duty League even made a mini-documentary about their observers just two years ago, commending their incredible work.

The community has expressed their disappointment at Activision Blizzard and support for all those let go today on X. With former professional Call of Duty player, Samuel “Octane” Larew saying, “Scott’s one of the most incredible people I’ve met through COD. Saddened to see him not working on Call of Duty anymore.”

With the Call of Duty Challengers scene and Overwatch esports now being controlled by ESL FaceIt Group, it appears that the Call of Duty League will now be operated by them too. With just a skeleton group of 12 employees left in Activision Blizzard’s esports department left to oversee things, it’s looking more and more likely that this is the final year of the Call of Duty League.