100 Thieves Lays Off Roughly 30 Employees

The second most valuable esports team in the world is eliminating about one sixth of its workforce.

The second most valuable esports team in the world is laying off about a sixth of its workforce.

100 Thieves eliminated around 30 positions on Tuesday across sales, marketing, content and human resources, sources familiar with the cuts told The Jacob Wolf Report.

Those layoffs also affected senior level roles including chief revenue officer Matty Lee, vice president of account management and integrated marketing Katy Chapel, vice president of IT Nichele Dudley, director of people Amber Fonts, director of talent Bailey Heidhues, director of post production Frank Door, director of production operations Alex Salamunovich, director of facilities Rowena Dy and head of partnerships Hillary Gilmore. Lee made a post about the layoff on Tuesday morning on his LinkedIn page.

“After nearly 4.5 absolutely incredible, challenging, and rewarding years, my time at 100 Thieves comes to an end today,” Lee wrote. “I’m grateful to have been a small part of helping nurture and grow a brand that has a real opportunity for generational staying power.  That’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that most people never get.”

While headcount for 100 Thieves is not disclosed, LinkedIn estimates about 200 people work at the company, although some are contractors and investors with the company on their profiles. That means that the roughly 30 people accounts for somewhere between 14 to 17 percent of the company’s workforce. 100 Thieves declined to comment.

“Tough day today for us, we needed to downside [sic] the organization a little bit,” 100 Thieves president and COO John Robinson wrote in a Reddit post Tuesday. “We're in a challenging economic climate and like all sports (and esports) organizations, sponsorships is a major part of our business.

“Juvee and Higround are healthy and growing but partnerships is still our biggest source of revenue - the support of our sponsors pays for all our esports and content and a lot of the fun stuff we get to do. We have a new CRO joining tomorrow and have a lot of strong new partners in our pipeline. More than ever, we appreciate all the support for the org, our staff, and our sponsors.”

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The layoffs come at a time of uncertainty and economic difficulty in esports. As companies have progressed from early and mid-stage companies to mid-late to late-stage in terms of valuations—despite revenues often not reflecting that rise—the fundraising environment’s become increasingly complicated. Once hailed as the next frontier of sports, esports now signals caution to many venture capitalists, private equity and family offices.

100 Thieves finished their Series C fundraising round, valuing the company at a post-money valuation of $460 million after a $60 million cash injection, in December 2021. San Francisco-based venture capital firm Green Bay Ventures led that round and other contributors included Willoughby Capital, Tao Capital Partners, Breyer Capital, Artist Capital Management, and Aglaé Ventures.

Since it re-launched in late 2017, the company founded by former “Call of Duty” professional player Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag has raised $120 million, including the Series C round. Its early investors include a set of venture capital firms backed by Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, rapper Drake and music manager Scooter Braun.

In the past 18 months, the company’s pushed harder into non-esports verticals of its business. That started with the acquisition of computer peripheral manufacturer Higround in October 2021. Since then, 100 Thieves has staffed out and begun production on a first-person shooter game codenamed “Project X” and launched an energy drink called Juvee.

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Update 7:05 p.m. ET: Added a statement from 100 Thieves president and chief operating officer John Robinson made on Reddit about the layoffs.