Everything we know about KSE owner of The Guard

By Melany Moncada

|

Feb 28, 2023

Reading time: 3 min

On February 22, The Guard unceremoniously laid off most of its employees, including the totality of media and content teams. During this time of confusion, fans are not clear about where to direct their anger. If you are wondering, who is the owner of The Guard? Here is everything you need to know.

Who is the owner of The Guard?

The Guard is the esports division of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, or KSE, a holding company based in Denver, Colorado. The properties of KSE include five professional sports franchises, Arsenal F.C., the Los Angeles Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and others. KSE also owns four stadiums, four television channels, and 19 magazines.

KSE came into esports in 2017 when the company acquired a slot in the upcoming Overwatch League. Los Angeles Gladiators would go on to become one of 12 founding teams of the Overwatch League. In 2019, KSE acquired yet another franchise slot, this time for the upcoming Call of Duty League with Los Angeles Guerillas.

 In 2021, KSE rebranded its esports division as The Guard and added a Valorant roster to its properties.

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Why did The Guard shut down?

KSE hasn’t released any statement to explain the sudden decision, but it is possible to speculate based on the current state of esports. Unfortunately, layoffs are becoming a common occurrence in esports, and there are multiple reasons for it.

The first reason is the impending recession economists keep talking about. Many tech companies have decided to cut down personnel, and these mass layoffs have caused panic across multiple industries. According to a report by NBC News, the United States is not going through a recession, and if the recession ever arrives, it won’t be as drastic as previous ones.

An impending recession affects esports directly because the reality of it is that not a single team in North America is profitable. Esports created a bubble with organizations making promises to investors. Esports was supposed to be the industry of the future, but that vision hasn’t come to fruition, and investors want their money back.

The Overwatch League is perhaps the best example of this dilemma. The league promised to be a dream come true for investors. It would franchise and establish itself as a global event that fans would massively consume. In 2023, the Overwatch League’s popularity is declining. More investors are getting out of the league and counting their losses.

KSE is rumored to be in the process of selling its slot in both the Overwatch League and the Call of Duty League. From a business standpoint, this decision makes complete sense. Esports franchises are an expensive endeavor, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear path to profitability.

More teams could follow the steps of KSE unless the Overwatch league has an outstanding 2023.

What will happen to KSE’s Valorant team?

The future of the Valorant and Apex Legends squads is uncertain. The company is allegedly planning on keeping the Valorant and Apex Legends properties. According to one player, the organization has given them permission to explore offers. This could indicate that KSE is planning on getting out of esports altogether.

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