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ESPN has shuttered its esports editorial vertical.
“We have made the difficult decision to cease operations for our dedicated daily esports editorial and content,” a spokesperson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “We recognize esports as an opportunity to expand our audience, and we’ll continue to do so through coverage from the broader team for major events, breaking news and coverage.”
Since the vertical launched in 2016 to explore the world of professional gaming, it has covered League of Legends and Call of Duty teams among many others. While the dedicated vertical will cease operations, coverage of breaking news from major esports events is expected to continue.
This news comes days after ESPN laid off 300 employees, citing the pandemic’s “significant impact” on the business and the “tremendous disruption” in how fans are consuming sports, which prompted the acceleration of a change in strategy.
Separate from its editorial vertical, ESPN’s esports programming has recently included an Apex Legends competition under its event series EXP with well-known names such as Dr. Disrespect. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the NBA to broadcast an NBA 2K20 tournament.
According to a projection from analytics firm NewZoo, global esports revenue is expected to reach over $1 billion in 2021.
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