According to multiple social media posts Wednesday afternoon, a large number of employees have been laid off from Kroenke Sports & Entertainment-owned esports arm The Guard. Multiple employees announced that they had been let go, some of whom were recently hired and relocated to Los Angeles after being laid off at other esports organizations in December and earlier this year. Now those people are left struggling to figure out what to do next, and from most accounts The Esports Advocate has read, the company has offered little or no assistance, guidance or support for affected employees. Layoffs appear to be across the board, with many executive positions being cut as well.
A source familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified tells The Esports Advocate that a majority of staff have been laid off, with only Overwatch League team L.A. Gladiators and Call of Duty League team L.A. Guerrillas to remain operational until either a suitable buyer can be found for the teams or the franchise slots, or until the end of each league’s respective seasons ends. If a buyer isn’t found, both teams would be closed, a source tells TEA.
KSE launched its esports division—The Guard—in November of 2021 putting Overwatch League team L.A. Gladiators, Call of Duty League team L.A. Guerrillas and a Valorant roster under its auspices. It also moved into a dedicated esports facility on the grounds of Hollywood Park near SoFi Stadium.
KSE is a powerhouse in the world of professional sports: it owns the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids, Colorado Mammoth, Arsenal F.C., Arsenal W.F.C., and operates multiple venues including SoFi Stadium, YouTube Theater, Emirates Stadium, Arsenal Training Centre, Highbury Square, Ball Arena, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Paramount Theatre, 1stBank Center, Elitch Gardens Theme Park, and Warner Center complex.
TEA will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
Biff Corbett contributed to this story.