Call of Duty League loses 80% of staff amid Microsoft layoffs

Call of Duty League loses 80% of staff amid Microsoft layoffs
Image via CDL

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


31st Jan 2024 17:05

Activision Blizzard has made significant cuts to their esports department, letting go of all of its Call of Duty League observing team and a majority of its production staff just days after the conclusion of the CDL Major 1 in Boston.

AVB esports division gutted

According to the Rotation, 60 of the 72 employees in the Activision Blizzard esports division have been let go. The layoffs include all of CDL's observing crew, who announced their departure, writing, "With today's news we have additional free agents on the market. All of which are incredibly talented with a plethora of experience between them."

Senior Manager of Esports Operations at Activision Blizzard, Scott "aBhorsenn" Parkin also took to Twitter to share the news. "They did it, they actually did it. They let us work with that over our heads and laid us off on our first day off. The lack of common decency is a joke," he wrote.

General Manager of the CDL, Daniel Tsay, who is among the 12 members of the esports division that will remain, also commented on the layoffs, tweeting: "Still doesn’t feel real. Today is a very tough day. We had to say goodbye to many of our esports team and I’m deeply saddened by the impact this has to our friends and their families."

Wider Microsoft scope

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Last week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer sent out a memo explaining that following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard in October last year, significant job cuts would be necessary.

"As we move forward in 2024, the leadership of Microsoft Gaming and Activision Blizzard is committed to aligning on a strategy and an execution plan with a sustainable cost structure that will support the whole of our growing business," the note read.

Spencer concluded that "as part of this process, we have made the painful decision to reduce the size of our gaming workforce by approximately 1,900 roles out of the 22,000 people on our team."

The news of the severe layoffs in the AVB esports division arrives just a day after the announcement of the former CDL commissioner and General Manager of Call of Duty, Johanna Faries as the new president of Blizzard Entertainment. She replaced Mike Ybarra, who had been with Blizzard Entertainment for over 22 years and served as its president since November 2021.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

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