OpTic Gaming latest esports organization to lay off employees

By Olivia Richman

|

Jan 27, 2023

Reading time: 4 min

The year has been rough for the esports industry. Soon after Team Liquid and 100 Thieves let go of a large amount of staff members, OpTic Gaming has just announced some layoffs.

OpTic Gaming has made its name in the Call of Duty scene after forming in 2006 in Texas. The team most recently participated in the Call of Duty League. Despite the franchise’s growing success, OpTic is now the latest esports organization to lay off multiple employees.

It’s currently unknown exactly how many people were laid off from OpTic Gaming. But the January 26 layoffs resulted in multiple employees from various departments sharing their feelings on social media, making it clear that it wasn’t just one division of OpTic that was impacted.

It’s also of note that many of the employees laid off by OpTic Gaming were higher up. One employee, the former talent manager, said that his time has come to an end at OpTic. Another employee who took to Twitter said she was the brand manager and head of marketing.

“I struggled initially on deciding if I wanted to press send on this tweet. To be transparent and candid, I just finished wiping away tears. Not because of the latter, which would be related to my employment, but merely because of all the outpours of nothing but kind and sweet from so, so many of you,” said Lindsay Caudill.

What caused OpTic Gaming to lay off employees?

The esports community responded with feelings of frustration and concern. According to esports reporter Jacob Wolf, many of the employees let go from OpTic were B2B contractors originally brought in by the previous CEO, Adam Rymer.

In November of 2021, OpTic Gaming merged with its new parent company Envy Gaming. It founded OPTic Texas for the Call of Duty: Vanguard season. Many on Twitter felt upset for Dallas Fuel employees who seemed to be getting laid off at a more rapid pace.

OpTic Gaming has not officially discussed the layoffs. On Twitter, the company is already posting lighthearted content and hasn’t made any mention of the employees that were let go. It’s unclear if more employees will also be dropped from the company and the exact reason behind the decisions.

Team Liquid, 100 Thieves also had massive layoffs

OpTic employees aren’t the only ones facing a lay off in esports. Team Liquid and 100 Thieves both let go of many employees over the past few weeks.

At the start of 2023, 100 Thieves laid off around 30 employees. According to Wolf, this included many high-up employees like chief revenue officer Matty Lee, vice president of account management and integrated marketing Katy Chapel, vice president of IT Nichele Dudley, director of people Amber Fonts, director of talent Bailey Heidhues, director of post production Frank Door, director of production operations Alex Salamunovich, director of facilities Rowena Dy, and head of partnerships Hillary Gilmore.

The reason behind the seemingly sudden move was financially motivated. COO John Robinson admitted that esports is in a “tough economic climate” and teams rely on sponsors for income.

Later in January, Team Liquid also let go of many employees across multiple departments. The first round of layoffs was back in fall of 2022, according to former employee Sarah Enders. This was followed by a second round later in January, which saw many well-respected employees let go.

It’s been an emotional start to 2023 for the esports industry and many employees are worried about the future of not only their position, but the future of esports organizations in general.

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