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Garena Lays Off Staff

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Games publisher Garena, who is behind titles such as Free Fire, has laid off staff from around the world, according to a report from Esports Insider, citing sources.

Per the report (citing sources) “the downsizing movement started in February 2022. Garena began attempting to reform streaming platform BOOYAH! to change its focus. As a result, this shift resulted in BOOYAH! team members being laid off.”

Esports Insider goes on to claim that they contacted Garena back in June to learn about the situation regarding BOOYAK!, and received the following response: “BOOYAH!’s team is focused on delivering new community-focused features and services while evolving our strategies to adapt to new trends in the gaming industry. Some new features will aim to improve how we engage our audiences, and may have some impact on our partnerships with some streamers.”

Garena also had to face challenges related to COVID-19 related to staff hires during the pandemic to handle the significant growth of the Free Fire audience, but as Brazil saw some stabilization from the pandemic, the user base dropped.

Garena provided Esports Insider with a statement regarding the layoffs: “In line with our previously stated focus on enhancing the long-term strength of our ecosystem, Garena is today making some adjustments to certain teams in order to optimise our global operations and better position us for opportunities ahead.

“This will unfortunately impact a number of roles, and we are committed to supporting affected teammates through this process.”

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Tencent Adds Former Sony Executive Shawn Layden

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Tencent has added former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden to their team, and Layden will now serve as a strategic advisor.

Layden said he is to “advise, assist, and support the team at Tencent as they deepen their activities and commitments within the industry” in an official announcement he made on his LinkedIn page.

“We are at an epoch defining moment in gaming and interactive entertainment. There are many possible roads ahead but only a few are profound, broadening, inclusive, edifying, inspiring, and/or sustainable. I am thrilled to continue this journey of discovery and thank Tencent for the opportunity.”

 

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G2 Esports CEO On Unpaid Leave Following Sharing of Video with Andrew Tate

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G2 Esports CEO Carlos Rodriguez has agreed to take eight weeks of unpaid leave from the company following the sharing of a video on Twitter of himself partying with controversial creator Andrew Tate, who has been banned on platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook for violations of terms of services, including instances of hate speech and misogyny.

Rodriguez accompanied the 8-second video that featured Tate and himself with: “Yesterday we celebrated G2’s world championship.” The video prompted immediate backlash which has marred G2 Esports’ 2022 League of Legends European Championship spring season and summer season successes.

Rodriguez fired back at the criticism the video received: “Nobody will ever be able to police my friendships. I draw my line here. I party with whoever the fuck I want.”

G2 Esports issued the following on Sunday: “Last night we failed you. The actions of our CEO spoke a language in stark contrast with the value and the culture G2 lives by and strives for. And for that we apologize.

“Since our creation, we have worked hard to build a safe and inclusive environment to enjoy esports. These are just small steps in the right direction we need to take as a company. We’ll continue to do our best each and every day to improve ourselves and the industry at large.”

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Tencent’s Fanbyte Lays Off Staff

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Tencent owned media company ‘Fanbyte’ has laid off a number of their staff this week, although the total numbers of those let go is not known.

According to GamesIndustry.biz, editor-in-chief Danielle Riendeau, head of media/editor-at-large John Warren, and features editor Elise Favis were among those laid off, with Riendeau announcing her departure on Twitter.

“Hi friends. I just want to say it’s been a true honor and pleasure to be the editor in chief of Fanbyte. I think we did some special things there! I am…currently looking for work,” she wrote on her page.

Favis also tweeted: “I’ve been laid off from Fanbyte”

“Incredibly proud of everything I got to do there, and with everyone I have worked with — these are the most talented folks in games media, and I’m honored I got to be there while I could.”

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