Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, CEO and founder of 100 Thieves, has responded to criticism he and the company have received following recent layoffs. Former employees have voiced their concerns about internal problems and have questioned a shift in focus toward other 100 Thieves-owned companies, such as Juvee and Higround. Since its founding in 2017, 100 Thieves has rapidly grown to rank among the most famous esports companies. In addition to an LCS squad that qualified for Worlds in its inaugural season, 100 Thieves also achieved early success in other titles, including Call of Duty and Fortnite.
Through a combination of their esports success, their content arm, and other businesses, such as beverages manufacturer Juvee and hardware creators Higround, they are now competing with and frequently ousting names that have been in the market for much longer. However, 100T revealed a series of layoffs in January that will affect a number of employees, including Chief Revenue Officer Matty Lee and a number of editing and VFX professionals.
Addressing the Criticism of the Juvee Launch
Several weeks later, in a podcast episode, Nadeshot discussed the report that Digiday published following the layoffs. He discussed how he found it difficult to follow that course of action and why, for instance, specific criticism of the establishment of Juvee is only partially accurate. He acknowledged that the balance between everything we’re trying in 100 Thieves is difficult. “After this piece was published a couple of weeks ago, many people—including former employees—have questioned: ‘Why the f**k did you guys establish Juvee? That isn’t very smart.
When we initially began raising money with 100 Thieves, when you’re trying to raise money to keep your business alive, the only question investors were asking at that time was. Are your sales increasing by twofold annually? What kind of income do you earn? How will we improve that? How do you think our company will grow to be worth a billion dollars?
“Esports as a whole hasn’t been financially successful to the extent that many outside investors had hoped. Nevertheless, 100 Thieves as a company has always seen it as something that can advance everything we want to do. The gaming community has a path where we know people will try it, so let’s establish a brand that has no ties to the gaming community and accomplishes something more significant than what we do with Higround, which is endemically gaming and esports. I know it’s a really competitive business.
Nadeshot expresses sadness about job cuts
But that wasn’t all; Nadeshot continued to talk about how terrible the layoffs made him feel and what happened, including how the global health crisis affected businesses that wanted to partner with 100 Thieves and their capacity to generate income.
“We had to make painful decisions for the betterment of the company and the duty that we have to ourselves, to our board, and to investors who put money into this,” he added. “I’ll have regret for the rest of my life, and I’m not saying that to make you think any better of me. “The company is doing well. God’s honest truth is that when we established goals, had difficult conversations, and made the necessary adjustments, I’ve never been more enthusiastic about the future of 100 Thieves.
He continued by saying that he’d “rather be buried six feet under than do it again,” but he made it clear once more that he is fully aware that his circumstance is in no way comparable to that of those who have lost their employment. In addition to Juvee and Higround, 100 Thieves are working on an unnamed video game called Project X.