OverActive Media will shut down its Rochester, New York, office and will eliminate eight positions within its company through the fall and winter as its continues a corporate consolation to Toronto, the company confirmed to ESPN on Sunday.
The team will shut down the Rochester office, which has been home to Splyce since it launched in April 2015, on Jan. 1, 2020, and will make Toronto the company's main headquarters. Dexerto first reported the news on Sunday.
"We appreciate and respect the contribution of our colleagues in Rochester, and we thank each of them for their commitment and passion over the years," said Paulo Senra, the vice president of global content and communications at OverActive Media, in a statement. "With our Overwatch and Call of Duty teams moving to Toronto for their respective 2020 seasons, it is time now to establish our operations in Canada. We will be headquartered in Toronto to appropriately support our players, coaches and all of our key business functions as our business continues to grow and mature.
"We are building a leading global esports organization -- and we will be adding some additional key hires in the weeks ahead as we expand our operations in both Europe and North America."
Eight employees were notified Thursday that they could take severance packages immediately or remain with the company through December before being let go, sources said. Among those given notice were Splyce co-founder Vincent Garguilo and early employee Jonathan Strenczewilk, the brother of co-founder Marty Strenczewilk.
Marty Strenczewilk will remain at the company as its senior vice president of team performance.
The organization is also evaluating a potential rebrand of its League of Legends European Championship team, currently named Splyce, over the next few months. OverActive also owns MAD Lions, a Spanish League of Legends organization it acquired in May. Splyce is expected to remain active as a brand regardless of the decision around the LEC naming choice, one source said.
OverActive Media first entered the esports space when it invested during a $2.6 million funding round in Splyce in June 2018. OverActive Media and Splyce, with the backing of Canadian entrepreneur Michael Kimel and his family, acquired the Toronto slot in the Overwatch League for $35 million, paid over time, in August 2018. The group then acquired majority share in Splyce in November, buying out the likes of TD Garden and Boston Bruins parent company Delaware North.
OverActive Media is one of the 12 organizations that have committed $25 million to Activision Blizzard for franchise rights in the new Call of Duty League, which is set to launch in early 2020. Like in Overwatch, OverActive will own the Toronto franchise.
Other owners in that league include New York Mets sister company Sterling.VC, Cox Enterprises-backed Atlanta Esports Ventures, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment and WISE Ventures, the family investment fund for Minnesota Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf.