After announcing their move into eSports a little over a year ago in March of 2016, Yahoo eSports will cease all operations as of June 16th 2017. Following Verizon’s confirmed $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo – merging the brand with AOL to form Oath, the company will cut the entirety of Yahoo’s eSports division.
Travis Gafford, an endeared member of the League of Legends community and Yahoo’s Head of eSports media, published a letter on the site announcing the shut down.
Known for building his established portfolio with Gamespot, Gafford soon became the face Yahoo’s venture into eSports.
Thanks for all the support. For those asking, I'll be here to see things wind down these few weeks, then time to find out what's next.
— Travis Gafford (@TravisGafford) June 14, 2017
“As Yahoo Sports becomes part of Oath, they are focusing on aligning with the new company strategy and are focused on growing the Yahoo Sports brand.”
Yahoo eSports proudly boasted a lineup of some of the most well-known figures in the industry, employing popular League of Legends writers Emily Rand and Kelsey Moser.
The move certainly comes as a surprise considering the company had only recently partnered with both ESL and Riot Games, hoping to provide exclusive coverage for uLoL Rivalries, a college League of Legends showcase.
Incoming Oath CEO Tim Armstrong – previously CEO of AOL – admitted that roughly 2,100 people are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the merger, which is “mainly focused on us putting more resources toward the front end, towards the consumer side.”