The Guard: Sources Claim ‘Every Single Employee’ Has Been Laid Off
Hours ago, claims began surfacing suggesting that ‘every single employee’ had been laid off at The Guard, a prominent LA-based esports, gaming, and content organisation. From the top to the bottom – allegedly – almost every possible member of staff has been dismissed, including management personnel, social teams, creative teams, and content creators. At present, there’s no confirmation as to what’s happening with The Guard’s esports teams.
There are two key teams under the banner of The Guard – the LA Guerrillas (Call of Duty League) and the LA Gladiators (Overwatch League). At the moment, neither of these teams’ socials have relayed any information as to what’s happening. From checking the individual players’ profiles on social media, nothing is being confirmed. For example, ten minutes before writing, LA Guerrillas’ frontman, Arcitys, tweeted a Pokémon image, but nothing else – not exactly cryptic.
What is Happening at The Guard?
With all the shock and awe of a sudden and unexpected wave of layoffs, The Guard’s former employees have been quick to take to social media to mourn their collective dismissal. There’s a current trend running rampant throughout the gaming and esports industries that is seeing countless firms actively making redundant vast swathes of employees. Recently, Microsoft laid off hundreds of employees across its Xbox division, 100 Thieves released creators, and Riot Games dismissed a collection of employees.
as of today everyone’s position at the guard has been eliminated. it was a great few months but i’m heartbroken. i am available for work across merch or apparel. unemployed in LA isn’t something i was expecting the day before my birthday Lol
— carlie (@CARLIEB0T) February 22, 2023
Reportedly, the situation is being handled extremely poorly at The Guard. On Twitter, one prominent creator, Ariel Ben-Abraham, explained how on-site security was attempting to detain him as he tried to back up critical files on his laptop ahead of leaving.
It’s safe to say that nobody saw this move coming, and it’s extremely out of left field. It was just six hours ago that The Guard posted innocently on Twitter, showcasing a VALORANT clip, before promptly dismissing the very staff that posted that clip (most likely). As recently as just ten days ago, The Guard was actively hiring new staff within the departments that it has just dismissed, further relaying the unexpectedness of the decision.
As this news is developing, fans, critics, and press from around the industry are awaiting one thing: a reason. It’s suspected that this decision was made by The Guard’s parent company, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which is run by Stan Kroenke, a businessman with a reported net worth of $13 billion. Outside of The Guard, KSE boasts the ownership of the LA Rams, the Denver Nuggets, Arsenal FC, and several enormous stadiums around the world.
It’s hard to believe that money problems have befallen KSE, so there’s likely a more complex reason for the instant and unexpected dismissal of an entire esports organisation.
We’ll be sure to update this story as it develops, focusing particularly on The Guard’s Call of Duty League and Overwatch League teams.