Co-Founder Pursuing Legal Action Against Excel Esports Over Alleged Wrongful Dismissal
Kieran Holmes-Darby is entering into a British employment tribunal case with the company he started.
Excel Esports co-founder Kieran Holmes-Darby is pursuing legal action the company he started in a British employment tribunal case, according to court dockets obtained by The Jacob Wolf Report and confirmed by the team in a statement.
Holmes-Darby’s case against Excel is set to be heard on Oct. 11 at the Central London Employment Tribunal, according to the docket. One source said that Holmes-Darby’s case is over alleged wrongful dismissal. Specifics of the case, though, were not available, as British media law prevents public access to employment tribunal cases prior to judgment.
The U.K. Ministry of Justice did not follow up on a request for further documentation made by The Jacob Wolf Report on Thursday morning. Holmes-Darby declined to comment.
”A case has been filed by Kieran against EXCEL LEC Ltd,” Excel CEO Wouter Sleijffers said in a statement to The Jacob Wolf Report on Thursday. “It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the case at this stage.”
Holmes-Darby exited Excel in January after nearly seven and a half years with the organization he co-founded with his brother. He served as the company’s CEO for most of its existence, but was moved out of that role in January 2020 when the organization hired former Fnatic CEO Wouter Sleijffers to take over. Holmes-Darby and his brother Joel then moved into chief gaming officer and chief people officer roles, respectively.
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With his exit, Holmes-Darby released a video on YouTube in January sharing the news and giving his goodbyes to the team’s fans.
“I will no longer be an employee at Excel and will not be involved with the operations of the brand,” he said. “This has of course been quite a difficult period for me. As of today, I don’t know what my ongoing relationship with the Excel brand will look like, as that depends on a few things. But expect some official communication on that in due course.”
Holmes-Darby joined Formula E as its gaming director in February.
The Holmes-Darby brothers founded Excel in November 2014. The team made waves in first-person shooter games, including “Halo” and “Call of Duty,” where it later joined and competed in the Call of Duty World League.
But the organization made a big splash in November 2018 when, after several organizations could not come to terms with Riot Games for participation in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), Excel was selected as a permanent franchise partner for that league. “That just really put the organization on another level and took us into a new tier of esports brands,” Holmes-Darby said in his exit video.
With Excel’s bid for the LEC franchise spot, Australia-based investment group Guinevere Capital acquired a majority stake in the British esports team in summer 2018. Excel later raised €20 million from London private equity group JRJ Group in July 2021.
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