On July 3, 2023 Belong Gaming Arenas announced that they are closing their doors, at least in their United States locations. This came in addition to parts of the organization’s websites and socials being offline temporarily.
On Monday, an email was sent out from a Belong spokesperson confirming the news, stating:
“After careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of our current business operations and strategic alternatives, we have unfortunately made the difficult decision to suspend the operations of our US Belong Gaming Arenas.
“This decision was not made lightly, and we want to express our deep gratitude to our extraordinarily talented and dedicated staff members and our valued business partners, who have been instrumental in our development and success over the last 2+ years. Their hard work, commitment, and passion for providing excellent service and world class experiences have been the backbone of our business and our culture, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to every one of them.
“We have had the privilege of serving this wonderful and unique community, and we are immensely grateful for the trust and support you have shown us. Our team has worked tirelessly to provide an inclusive and fun environment for gamers of all kinds. We continue to evaluate our business model and strategy with the goal of continuing to serve this community, that we know and love, in the future.”
The announcement also came alongside the staff at the US locations being notified that they were being laid off. Belong had six total locations in the United States, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Nashville, and Columbus.
Belong does operate in the UK, and a Belong community manager has confirmed over Discord that the UK branches of Belong will continue to operate as normal.
Belong was acquired by Vindex in 2020, at which Martyn Gibbs took over as CEO of Belong. While the intent was for Vindex to invest $300 Million in Belong, that money was never raised. In March, Vindex was bought out by ESL FACE IT. Belong was not a part of that buy out, and so it was spun off into its own entity.
Employees who were laid off took to Twitter to announce what happened to them and share their thoughts on the communities that were built as well as their thoughts on Belong.
We wish the best to those who were affected by these layoffs.