Jacob Wolf joins Dot Esports following break with ESPN

Dot Esports is one of several esports websites owned by Gamurs Group, an Australia-based company, which bought it from the Daily Dot in 2016. Dot Esports founder and Editor in Chief Kevin Morris said he is excited to be editing Wolf again. Morris acted as a mentor to Wolf when he joined as a cub reporter at 18 years old — after Wolf, who graduated high school early, dropped out of West Georgia Technical College, where he was pursuing a degree in computer information systems.

“With hiring Jacob, we want to go back to our roots and start doing really ambitious journalism again,” Morris said.

Morris, who holds a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School and was a Carnegie Fellow at ABC News, added he hopes the addition of Wolf will also help benefit the careers of some the younger reporters at Dot Esports. This includes new talent they are bringing in, such as 18-year-old Pablo Suarez, who was first to report TSM’s signing of SwordArt via Twitter in November, a development that was later confirmed.

Wolf, a Newman, Ga., native, said he was in discussions with dozens of outlets and was swayed by the opportunity to rejoin his mentor. Wolf also said his perspective on what a journalism career looks like changed during his decision-making process.

“I used to think it was linear going from one publication to another, but for me, I’m excited about the flexibility I’ll have to report on esports content,” he said. Wolf moved from New York City to Austin, where Dot Esports is based.

The move, both by Wolf and by Dot Esports, is significant in that the layoffs at ESPN sparked discussions online about what the network’s decision meant for esports coverage as a whole. Some interpreted the move by ESPN as an indictment of the value esports coverage could provide to a mainstream site in terms of developing a robust, regular readership.

Wolf said he planned to leave ESPN in late January, before the layoff announcement, due to his frustrations with workplace inefficiencies and the lack of institutional knowledge regarding esports and its associated culture.

“It was a lack of priority,” Wolf said. “We were so focused on what was tomorrow and not what was next week or next year. We were understaffed and we were asked to cover every single game, which spread a lot of us really thin. That also didn’t let us specialize. … I was writing things that anyone could write, which was not the best use my time as a well connected reporter.”

Through a spokesperson, ESPN rebutted Wolf’s claims and responded with a statement emailed to The Washington Post Sunday morning. The company noted it has not stopped all esports coverage and that it would be part of the network’s broader programming and coverage.

“Esports on ESPN.com was by far our lowest trafficked section and was among the most resourced, relative to traffic and…

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