Yahoo eSports will cease their operations on starting today as part of the agreement of an ongoing merger between Yahoo and AOL.
Yahoo eSports will cease updating after Friday, June 16th.
Travis Gafford, head of Yahoo eSports, tweeted yesterday that the outlet will cease operations as Oath is electing to focus on nurturing the Yahoo Sports brand instead, while thanking those who had helped the eSports subsidiary with the following statement:
“I would like to extend my gratitude to all the individuals at Yahoo who decided to make esports an initiative at the company,” Gafford tweeted. “From the folks who presented and approved the idea, to the engineers and project managers who built the site, and the Yahoo Sports team who hired the first few members of what would become our media team.”
“Additionally, I want to thank the esports community. As is often the case, there was a great deal of skepticism when a large company entered the esports space. You challenged us to create authentic videos and articles from familiar faces and names. With the help of teams, players, leagues, and publishers we strived to provide you engaging, entertaining, and informative content. In turn, you embraced us across Smash, CS:GO, League, FGC, and many more communities. Your passion and support drove us.”
“Finally, there is no possible way for me to thank my amazing colleagues enough. Speaking personally, Yahoo Esports was my first chance to lead a team. To say I got hard-carried by our incredible producers, writers, editors, and social media folks would be a vast understatement. All of them invested their long hours, passion, and endless creativity into this endeavor. If I have a chance to work alongside any of them again in the future, I will take it in a heartbeat. You’ll be hard pressed to find better women and men for positions in this industry.”
Yahoo eSports had only been established in March 2016 as mainstream interest in eSports grows exponentially just as ESPN and other major media groups seek to cover events on a regular basis. They had on all major esports disciplines, including CS:GO, League of Legends, Call of Duty and Overwatch, and had certainly enjoyed a proportional amount of attention from followers in the community.
As such, it was more than surprising that Yahoo eSports would capitulate so soon given that Yahoo had also just shut down a large chunk of its digital magazines.
Nonetheless, this is far from the biggest loss the Yahoo conglomerate will face in their merger with AOL to form Oath, as approximately 2,100 people are expected to lose their jobs according to previous AOL CEO and incoming Oath CEO Tim Armstrong.