The world of esports gasped out loud on Wednesday June 14th when Yahoo! announced the closure of their esports news division.
The introduction of Yahoo Esports was often used as an example that the mainstream media was bothered about competitive gaming, which makes the news that they’ll stop posting as of Friday June 16th even more compelling.
Originally formed in March 2016, reporting on a wide range of topics including CS:GO, League of Legends, Call of Duty and Overwatch.
A Twitter post was made on Wednesday June 14th with a link to a statement by Travis Gafford, the current Heads of Esports Media.
He explains that due to Yahoo switching to be part of publisher Oath, they have decided to focus their company strategy on growing the Yahoo Sports brand.
It’s unclear at the time of writing that will happen to the remaining staff.
“To our readers and viewers:
Unfortunately, Yahoo Esports will no longer be updated after this Friday (June 16th). 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.
As things wind down, I want to thank several different parties for the support they’ve provided us over the past year and a half.
First, I would like to extend my gratitude to all the individuals at Yahoo who decided to make esports an initiative at the company. From the folks who presented and approved the idea, to the engineers and project managers who built the site, and the Yahoo Sports team who hired the first few members of what would become our media team.
Additionally, I want to thank the esports community. As is often the case, there was a great deal of skepticism when a large company entered the esports space. You challenged us to create authentic videos and articles from familiar faces and names. With the help of teams, players, leagues, and publishers we strived to provide you engaging, entertaining, and informative content. In turn, you embraced us across Smash, CS:GO, League, FGC, and many more communities. Your passion and support drove us.
Finally, there is no possible way for me to thank my amazing colleagues enough. 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.
Thank you everyone for supporting us.”