Wouter Sleijffers leaves EXCEL ESPORTS

Wouter Sleijffers Excel Esports
Pictured: Wouter Sleijffers. Photo credit: Excel Esports

Wouter Sleijffers, the former CEO of British esports organisation EXCEL ESPORTS, has announced his departure from the company.

Sleijffers leaves Excel after almost four years, first as CEO and later as an advisor, during which he expanded Excel’s operations and helped achieve a global footprint for the organisation.

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Sleijffers is a two-time esports CEO, having previously been CEO of rival British esports organisation Fnatic between 2015 and 2019. Sleijffers joined Excel as CEO in January 2020.

He also held a variety of consultant and advisor roles throughout the years, though he is best-known for his almost decade-worth of experience at the top of two of UK’s biggest esports organisations.

Hints that a move was perhaps on the horizon came in January 2023 when Sleijffers stepped away from CEO and into an Advisor role, saying that it was the “perfect time to hand over the reins.”

Sleijffers did not share the next steps in his career, but said this would be revealed ‘soon’. He shared gratitude and excitement for the company’s future in a post on LinkedIn.

“Excel Esports is supported by amazing talent, and the very best sponsors & partners. It’s impossible to describe the incredible change and growth we’ve achieved over the past years. All credits for what has been achieved thus far, simply go to every single Excel Esports member, on- and off stage, past and present.

“Excel Esports is in top form, and sometimes we deserved so much more. I’ll be looking forward to everything that’s still to come, and will remain a supporter from the sidelines. I wish the team the best of luck taking Excel Esports to greater heights & glory.”

Sleijffers’s tenure at Excel spanned an interesting time for the company. The organisation joined the LEC, Europe’s franchised League of Legends league, in late 2018 as one of the ten franchises that secured rights to participate.

After joining the company, Sleijffers said in an interview with Esports Insider that his main goal for the company is to be successful competitively, and to “have a shot to reach the World Championship in year two.” Excel’s closest chance at that goal was this summer, when the organisation reached the LEC Season Finals, but was knocked out before qualifying for the Worlds.

As for his other plans, Sleijffers noted in 2020 that he wished for Excel to be the “leading professional esports organisation in the UK,” which the company has made great strides towards in recent years. During his time at Excel, the organisation’s founders Kieran Holmes-Darby and Joel Holmes-Darby both left the company.

Ivan Šimić
Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.