The IEM Katowice crowd stands and cheers for CS2 in 2024.
Photo by Helena Kristiansson via ESL

ESL FACEIT Group hit with layoffs: Esports event stalwart cuts hundreds of roles

The layoffs just keep coming.

ESL FACEIT Group (EFG) has announced major layoffs today with upwards of 300 staff forced out across a multitude of roles in a move designed to alleviate pressure on the company and support expansion plans first set back in 2022.

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The February layoffs, which accounts for approximately 15 percent of EFG’s global team, have affected operations across multiple departments, according to a Feb. 27 statement from EFG chief executives Craig Levine and Niccolo Maisto. Most of the impacted staff worked out of offices or positions based in Denmark, Dust2.us reported on the same day. The exact number of employees left without a job has not been shared yet.

CS:GO fans watching a match.
Another dark day for esports and gaming as more staff are let go. Photo by Eric Ananmalay via ESL Gaming

“This change is designed to support EFG’s sustainable growth ambitions and profitability,” Levine and Maisto said in the statement, adding affected employees will be supported based on a global scale as well as any additional local considerations. “With the industry in constant change, we must adapt, become more efficient, and be more flexible as a team.”

EFG said that despite the downsizing, the company remains “bullish” on the business and esports as a whole in a media FAQ posted alongside the company statement. [We] feel confident in
our ability to grow and advance our strategic priorities, and if we make these changes now we’ll
be set up for future success.”

This is the second round of layoffs to affect EFG since the merger and purchase of the esports giants by the Saudi-backed Savvy Gaming Group in 2022. An estimated 65 staff were laid off from esports production company Esports Engine last July, according to an Esports Insider report, which, like today, came as a shock to affected parties. Savvy Gaming Group, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, originally purchased ESL and FACEIT for $1.5 billion as part of a swift round of investment in the wider gaming industry.

EFG’s layoffs extend a dark day for the esports and gaming industry as a whole as the cutbacks come shortly following PlayStation’s decision to scale back operations, letting around 900 employees go worldwide and forcing the closure of a London studio.


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Author
Nicholas Taifalos
Weekend editor for Dot Esports. Nick, better known as Taffy, began his esports career in commentary, switching to journalism with a focus on Oceanic esports, particularly Counter-Strike and Dota. Email: nicholas@dotesports.com