Each month, Esports Insider compiles a list of the most prominent esports movers and shakers of that month. February’s overview again features layoffs, but also some more interesting new moves that are more positive.
Hyper-popular streamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins joined Gamesquare, Guild Esports appointed a new CFO and COO, Tundra got a new Head of Business Development, OverActive Media CEO left the company — and that’s just the start.
Here are the top movers and shakers for February 2023. If you are interested in a story, click the link in the corresponding title.
Canadian esports holding company Enthusiast Gaming has named Nick Brien as its new Chief Executive Officer. In his role, Brien will lead the company’s global operations which include ownership of esports organisation Luminosity Gaming and Call of Duty League franchise Seattle Surge.
Prior to joining Enthusiast Gaming, Brien was the CEO of advertising technology firm Amobee and the Americas CEO of marketing network company Dentsu. Dentsu serves several multinational companies including Microsoft, Intel, and American Express.
Former CEO Adrian Montgomery, who was unpopular amongst staff and some shareholders, will move to Chair the Board of Directors.
North American esports and gaming company OverActive Media has announced that its current CEO Chris Overholt will no longer lead the company.
Overholt will remain as Strategic Advisor for 30 days, after which he will leave to pursue another opportunity. Co-founder and current CSO of OverActive Media Adam Adamou will act as interim CEO as the company searches for a suitable replacement for Overholt.
Chris Overholt, former CEO of OverActive, was also the first CEO of the company. Appointed in 2018, he led the company to a listing on the Toronto Venture Exchange in 2021 and worked on partnerships with Bell and TD Bank.
North American streamer and content creator Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins has joined esports and gaming company GameSquare as its new Chief Innovation Officer.
In his new position, Blevins will head Ninja Labs, a new innovation hub created by the company that will be focused on creating concepts and ideas that aim to help GameSquare reach wider audiences. Ninja Labs will include content and products.
Blevins is one of the best known streamers in the world, known by his alias Ninja, primarily for his streams of Fortnite. Blevins’ was one of the first streamers to sign a deal with Mixer, Microsoft’s now-defunct platform, and has since returned to Twitch. He also wrote and published books, worked on an electronic music album and collaborated with numerous brands.
North American esports organisation The Guard has seemingly laid off all of its employees in an all-hands meeting yesterday, according to a report by esports.gg.
A now former employee has confirmed to Esports Insider that these layoffs include every employee in the content, social, creative, and talent departments.
The Guard, along with its subsidiaries, is owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment group, a massive Denver-based holding company that owns numerous other sports franchises, including the National Football League’s (NFL) Los Angeles Rams, the National Basketball League’s (NBA) Denver Nuggets, and the Premier League’s Arsenal FC.
British esports organisation Guild Esports has announced the appointment of Clare Jarvis as its Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary.
Jarvis has more than ten years of experience in financial and senior management from across the media and entertainment sectors, most notably at Shazam, where she helped redesign the company’s budgeting and forecasting process.
Jarvis’ experience may be useful given that Guild recently revealed in its annual report that it had just £1.6m of cash remaining as of January 2023, while reporting a pre-tax loss of £8.75m for 2022.
London-based esports organisation Tundra Esports has announced the appointment of David Dashtoyan as its new Head of Business Development.
Dashtoyan will lead commercial and business development operations for Tundra Esports, as well as work towards securing new business opportunities for the company.
Tundra Esports is a British esports organisation most known for winning The International in 2022. Alongside, Dota 2 the organisation also fields teams in Fortnite and Rocket League.
North American esports organisation FaZe Clan has undergone a wave of layoffs, citing a difficult economic environment and a lack of capital.
The layoffs reportedly account for roughly 20% of FaZe Clan’s staff, according to Business Insider, who cited a company spokesperson. In an SEC filing on February 16th, FaZe Clan announced what it called a ‘reorganisational plan’ to streamline its workforce.
In a statement sent to employees, FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink said that despite ‘incredible growth’, the layoffs were needed due to changes in the economic environment since the company went public in July 2022.
JMR Luna has announced he is stepping down as CEO of European organisation OG Esports, ending a nearly three-year run at the company.
In a Twitter statement, the Spaniard thanked founders Johan ‘N0tail’ Sundstein and Sébastien ‘Ceb’ Debs for “entrusting [him] with something so precious”. In the announcement, Luna did not hint where he would next take his talents.
Luna initially joined the organisation in 2020 following tenures as Evil Geniuses‘ Head of Content and Immortals‘ VP of Content Production. His role at OG Esports also involved an unusual focus on content. Luna hosted the organisation’s podcast, and at times become a mouthpiece for the DOTA 2 players in content production.
Danny Lopez, Director of UK-based esports organisation Tundra Esports, has launched a creative studio specialising in ‘youth culture-driven content.’
Story Mode aims to create engaging content for its clientele which already includes the likes of English professional footballer Bukayo Saka and Jesse Lingard‘s JLINGZ Esports.
Lopez will utilise his experience within the gaming and esports industries to provide content that engages both markets. In addition to Saka and Lingard, Story Mode’s portfolio also comprises of Middle-Eastern organisation Falcons Esports and Tundra.