Los Angeles-based esports organization CLG will shut down its operations and its League of Legends Championship (LCS) team will move to NRG Esports, according to reporting from Sports Business Journal reporter Kevin Hitt. CLG owner Madison Square Garden Entertainment (MSGE) “still intends to run and operate Knicks Gaming, which competes in the NBA 2K League,” according to Hitt’s reporting.
In a subsequent announcement, MSGE revealed that it took a minority in NRG:
“Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. and NRG, a professional gaming and entertainment company, today announced the combination of Counter Logic Gaming (“CLG”) with NRG. As a result of the transaction, MSG Sports, which previously owned a controlling interest in CLG, now owns a noncontrolling equity interest in the larger, combined NRGCLG company.”
News of mass layoffs happening on Thursday were first revealed earlier in the week, and those appear to be coming to fruition as multiple employees shared their thoughts on the end of the organization as we now know it and of their time there.
While details are thin, it is evident that NRG and CLG owner MSGE had to have hashed out some sort of agreement long before rumors of layoffs surfaced. Like other sports-related companies, MSGE is the latest to move away from operating its own esports properties. Sources we spoke to this week intimated that CLG would make some sort of formal announcement on Thursday or that events would unfold that would make the severity of the situation apparent, but apart from individual announcements on layoffs, these things have not happened, as of this writing. The Esports Advocate will update this story as more information becomes available.
TEA reached out to CLG, its parent company MSGE, and NRG earlier in the week but NRG and CLG did not respond to a request for comment. An MSGE rep. issued the following statement to TEA earlier in the week: “While changes like this are always difficult, we are streamlining CLG’s operations to better position the company for long-term success, and are also currently exploring strategic alternatives for the business.”
It is still unclear as of this writing just how many employees and players have been affected by Thursday’s round of layoffs, but CLG operated a number of pro rosters and content creators in addition to a large staff. In addition to its LCS roster, CLG used to fields teams in LCS Academy, Valorant, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (which shifts to Counter-Strike 2 next year), and Apex Legends. It also employed a number of fighting game players and content creators.