North American Counter-Strike commentator John “BLU” Mullen said Wednesday via Twitter that he was laid off by the ESL’s American office.
As of today I have been laid off from @ESL America. Will still be working with them on some upcoming projects. 1/
— John Mullen (@blucsgo) July 25, 2017
BLU is an increasingly popular CS:GO caster. He called DreamHack Atlanta, DreamHack Austin and the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals in recent months. His iconic fast-paced commentating style is regarded to be compatible with the quick moving nature of Counter-Strike, and was part of many ESL events last year such as ESL One Cologne, ESL One New York and IEM Oakland.
BLU was previously a caster for Guild Wars as he built a resume with a game that didn’t have a strong presence in esports at the time. He then jumped from Guild Wars to Counter-Strike as a play-by-play caster without any prior experience in the game. BLU has been part of the CS:GO talent pool since 2015, and had been working with ESL since Season 2 of the ESL Pro League.
Despite being laid off, BLU said he will still work with ESL on some future projects.
BLU appears to be the latest in a line of layoffs to hit the ESL. At least 20 people, many in TV and event production, were laid off from the main office at the end of June. Another chunk of layoffs hit the North American office a week later, and ESL said in a statement about 5 percent of the company would be trimmed. It’s unclear whether BLU’s departure is related to those or not.
Cover photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack