100 Thieves cuts 20% of workforce to prioritize "core" of esports and apparel

Steinertiene Eleonora -

100 Thieves cuts 20% of workforce to prioritize "core" of esports and apparel

Another prominent esports brand is in the midst of substantial transformations. 100 Thieves, which had previously disclosed layoffs back in January, is now taking further steps to reduce its workforce and to separate its in-house game development studio and its Juvee energy drink product. This announcement comes from John Robinson, the President and COO of 100 Thieves, who took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to share these updates. This round of layoffs is affecting roughly 20% of the company's employees, with the heaviest impact being on Juvee and the game development studio. Robinson, however, did not provide specific numbers regarding the affected workforce.

Established in 2017 by Call of Duty star Matt "Nadeshot" Haag, 100 Thieves quickly garnered attention by blending gaming and fashion, earning a reputation akin to that of Supreme in the esports domain. Notably, their ownership includes influential figures such as Drake, Scooter Braun, along with well-known streamers like Rachell "Valkyrae" Hofstetter and Jack "CouRage" Dunlop. The organization expanded beyond its core identity to delve into areas like hardware sales, the development of a video game codenamed Project X, and, in the previous October, the launch of the Juvee energy drink product. However, it seems that 100 Thieves may have expanded too rapidly, prompting the strategic shifts announced by Robinson.

Robinson elaborated on the situation in a post on X, stating, "During the era of franchising in esports, we witnessed significant growth in both our esports business and our brand. We were fortunate to be in a position to invest beyond our core domains. However, over the last two years, as the economic landscape evolved, our business growth did not keep pace with the expansion of our organization. It has become clear that we cannot sustain an organization of our previous size, and Matt and I bear the responsibility for this."

As the organization moves forward, Robinson emphasized that 100 Thieves will redirect its focus towards its esports teams, apparel line, and online content creation. Additionally, Juvee is expected to be divested over the next three months, while the game development studio will be spun off immediately. It's worth noting that the Project X account on the X platform no longer exists, and this project was initially introduced by 100 Thieves in June 2022. Robinson pledged in his X post to provide further updates on these business changes in the coming months.

100-Thieves-cuts-20-of-workforce

This marks the third instance of layoffs for 100 Thieves within a span of less than two years. In January, reports indicated that approximately 30 employees were laid off, and further layoffs ensued in July 2022 when over a dozen jobs were cut.

The esports industry is currently facing a challenging period. For instance, Faze Clan is in the process of being acquired, but the deal's value is substantially lower than the organization's previous $725 million SPAC valuation. TSM, one of the largest esports entities globally, recently divested its position in the North American League of Legends circuit to Shopify's esports team, having previously entered into an ill-fated partnership with FTX. Blizzard is actively reworking its vision for the Overwatch esports league. On another note, Evil Geniuses reportedly terminated around 20 employees on a Wednesday, and the Sports Business Journal has reported that the organization is exploring potential "mergers or acquisitions."

In a statement released by John Robinson, the President & COO of 100 Thieves, he clarified the motivations behind these decisions: "We're making these decisions because we believe it's time for 100 Thieves to refocus on our core business and do less, but do it better."

Expanding on this further, Robinson remarked, "Looking ahead, Matt and I believe there is a clear path forward for 100 Thieves. We need to realign with the original promise we made to our fans: championship-level esports, exceptional content, and an apparel brand that our supporters are proud to wear."

As the brand moves into the future, Juvee and the Game Studio will find new majority owners. While 100 Thieves will retain a minor ownership stake in both companies, both entities will operate independently.

With 100 Thieves shifting their focus more squarely onto esports, entertainment, and fashion, it will be intriguing to see whether their esports teams can achieve success and how their content and fashion divisions can flourish.