The Esports Advocate has learned that Los Angeles-based scholastic esports company PlayVS has laid off an undetermined number of staff this week. In a public post, one employee described it as “a large round of layoffs,” but a source familiar with the situation tells TEA that the number of affected employees is around 20, or 25% of the entire staff.
Sources tell TEA the almost everyone at the company was surprised by these layoffs, particularly upper-management, suggesting that there was no advance warning, according to one source. While the cuts were described to TEA as across all departments, the league operations department took a major hit, with one source telling us that it would be hard to understand how it we be possible to continue planning, maintaining or operating the leagues the company currently has in place.
A PlayVS rep. issued a statement to TEA on Monday afternoon:
“We can confirm only two members of PlayVS League Ops department were affected by the reduction in force, and others affected were across different company divisions. This strategic restructuring maintains all functions across the company and does not impact PlayVS’ ability to operate its leagues at full capacity. We feel confident about the current staffing of that team and our broader ability to operate the leagues themselves.”
According to LinkedIn, the company employs approximately 105 employees, though that number is inaccurate as employees are often reticent about displaying dramatic shifts in their employment status or simply don’t update their profiles in a timely manner.
This news follows TEA’s reporting on Friday that the board of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) dropped NBA 2K as an approved game for the 2023 season of its state-wide competition the State Series because it would require working with the game’s scholastic esports license holder PlayVS.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Saturday morning with an approximate number of employees that have been laid off and on Monday, March 20, at 10:30 a.m. ET with additional background information.