Yahoo Esports shuts down as part of layoffs following Verizon buyout

Yahoo Esports announced Wednesday it will cease operations after Friday, which will contribute to the 2,100 layoffs in the day since Verizon finalized its purchase of Yahoo.

Travis Gafford, Yahoo’s head of esports media, published a letter on the site announcing the shut down and thanking its viewers. Yahoo launched its esports vertical last March, and Gafford, a popular League of Legends interviewer, soon became the face of the organization. But the cuts of Yahoo’s esports section are part of the 2,100 layoffs announced Wednesday, one day after Verizon finalized its $4.5 billion buyout of Yahoo.

“As Yahoo Sports becomes part of Oath, they are focusing on aligning with the new company strategy and are focused on growing the Yahoo Sports brand,” Gafford wrote.

Yahoo Esports boasted a lineup of some of the most well-known people in esports. It employed popular League of Legends writers Emily Rand and Kelsey Moser and fighting games community expert Michael Martin. Super Smash Bros commentator Daniel “Tafokints” Lee, Counter-Strike caster Mohan “launders” Govindasamy, Taylor Cocke and Zorine Te were among the site’s most visible contributors.

The site featured heavy video content, including Gafford’s North American League Championship Series interviews and content from other major esports events. Yahoo also partnered with ESL for content and Riot Games for uLoL Rivalries, a college League of Legends showcase.

“Finally, there is no possible way for me to thank my amazing colleagues enough,” Gafford wrote. “Speaking personally, Yahoo Esports was my first chance to lead a team. To say I got hard-carried by our incredible producers, writers, editors, and social media folks would be a vast understatement. All of them invested their long hours, passion, and endless creativity into this endeavor. If I have a chance to work alongside any of them again in the future, I will take it in a heartbeat. You’ll be hard pressed to find better women and men for positions in this industry.”

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