ESL UK Confirms Layoffs in Light of Global Restructuring Plans

  • ESL UK Managing Director James Dean confirmed that 30 staff from the branch have taken voluntary layoffs.
  • All UK operations will now be supported by centralized teams in Poland and Germany. 
  • Certain former staff members will continue to work with the Weavr Consortium, a government-backed data-technology platform. 

As part of a global restructuring plan, the staff of ESL UK have taken voluntary redundancy (layoffs), the regional entity’s Managing Director James Dean has confirmed. Event UK series such as the ESL Premiership will continue under the support of centralized teams in Poland and Germany. 

“The ESL UK mission has always been to grow UK esports and we remain 100% committed to that cause,” said Dean in a press release. “We therefore look forward to returning on January 2nd after the Christmas break when the office will reopen when we will continue to contribute to the burgeoning UK esports scene.”

It’s not yet been confirmed if ESL One Birmingham, a Dota 2 arena event that has been running for the last two years, will return in 2020. The decision follows a statement on Dec. 3 that ESL would restructure its international entities, with Spain and France being two other branches affected. The company stated no local offices would be shut down in the process.

ESL UK will also remain a lead member in the Weavr Consortium, which is currently developing viewer-focused data apps and products. The project gathered £5.8M GBP ($7.5M USD) in funding from its members alongside a grant from the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ICSF). Rob Black, former COO of ESL UK is one industry executive who will be continuing work on the project.

Other active firms in the UK esports space include Gfinity, a publicly-traded company that runs events around both typical esports titles as well as sports games—the latter in partnership with entities such as the Premier League and Formula One. Player1 Events, owned by retailer GAME Digital, runs the nation’s largest gaming festival, Insomnia. DreamHack, a Swedish gaming and esports event company, recently announced it would manage the official League of Legends regional competition for UK and Ireland

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