Blizzard Abruptly Lays Off A Large Swath Of Their European Esport Division Employees

Blizzard Abruptly Lays Off A Large Swath Of Their European Esport Division  Employees
Credit: Hearthstone

It seems abrupt, to us at least; many employees working for Blizzard within the realm of European esports are suddenly finding themselves without a job as numerous employees with a heft of tenure working with Blizzard are now posting on social media that their final day is (mostly) December 21.

It’s not necessarily a surprise, however; every esport has struggled during the pandemic to maintain quality broadcasts of high-pressure matches while organizations fall over themselves to attempt to keep the lights on during these unprecedented times; some are being hit harder than others.

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It seems like this is having unfortunate end-of-year consequences, but precisely why is currently unknown.

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Some are pointing towards the Overwatch League, a Blizzard esport staple the will be starting its fourth year in 2021 with a delayed start, and its struggles to capture the European scene as ably as other titles, such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike.

Yet Europe still hosted a slew of Hearthstone tourneys in the past few years that have been as readily accepted as anything Blizzard puts out.

Some are noting Starcraft 2 being drawn down and put on life support for the foreseeable future is within the same general timeframe; Starcraft hasn’t necessarily had a prestigious following in the European region either.

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There are a few things that are readily known: many employees being laid off were reportedly told three weeks prior to the date, but that frankly doesn’t excuse the timing that Blizzard has opted for, where they’re informing employees that they no longer have employment a week before Christmas and are trapped in a large-scale lockdown attempting to seek employment.

A similar event happened from Blizzard regarding Heroes of the Storm and the Heroes of the Storm Global Championship that was canceled shortly after; a seasonal trimming of the fat that appears to become an awkward tradition.

This leads us to the near-future of Blizzard esports, and we thankfully have a heft of empirical data to draw from; expect things to turn rough for a while.

When the Overwatch League laid off dozens of employees responsible for the production and broadcasting of the League, the quality fell downwards at terminal velocity to the amusement and frustration of fans internationally.

Now, it appears that the European region will be standing on precarious ground, held up by community events that could either result in new-found stability, or the death of Blizzard esports within the European region.