January 10, 2023 | By Alexander Lee
Immortals Gaming Club’s CEO is Jordan Sherman. This news is just over one year since Sherman assumed the role of chief executive at Immortals Gaming Club following a restructuring in September 2021.
Three former Immortals employees with information on the matter claim Sherman was out since Dec. 22. Digiday reached out to Sherman and Immortals for clarifications or details regarding Sherman’s departure. Although the company didn’t confirm Sherman’s exit, messages sent to Sherman’s official Immortals address got an automatic response stating that Sherman was not with the company. Sherman’s image was still prominently displayed on Immortals website homepage as of January 9.
Digiday interviewed 10 former and current employees to find out more about Sherman’s departure. All requested anonymity in order to protect their future opportunities in the highly competitive esports sector. Many felt that Immortals was micromanaging them in their jobs. Some expressed confusion and disapproval at the strategic decisions made by Immortals in 2022. This included Immortals pivoting from Los Angeles to becoming a regional Great Lakes organization in late 2021.
Sherman was previously the president of Immortals and chief commercial officer from May 2021 to May 2021. Before that, he worked as an executive for Gen.G, an esports organisation, between June 2018 and 2021. Immortals has not yet named Sherman’s successor and currently does not have an active CEO. Ari Segal was Immortals CEO prior to Sherman taking over. He currently serves as Immortals’ executive chairman and co managing director. This role he previously held just before Sherman’s departure.
Sherman was responsible for several strategic changes at Immortals during his tenure. These included a zero profit merchandise strategy to attract new fans, and the Great Lakes pivot. As the viability of local esports companies remains uncertain, Sherman’s Great Lakes decision was risky. However, Immortals received a warm reception from local gamers at activations like the June “Immortals Invasion” event in Detroit.
According to an Immortals employee, Sherman has left, but the organization doesn’t seem to be moving away from the Great Lakes area. A current Immortals employee requested anonymity. Two former employees who are familiar with Immortals’ operations were skeptical of the organization’s support for the Great Lakes Rebrand.
Digiday was told by an anonymous ex-staffer that it was “a bit one-foot in, one foot out the entire time I was there.” It looked less one-foot out over the last year but it still wasn’t enough to increase engagement.
Sherman had ambitious plans for Immortals. A second employee said to Digiday that his failures in administration were more due to unchecked Esports Idealism rather than malice and incompetence. His tenure at Immortals, regardless of his motivations, was marred by occasional conflicts and unrest among employees. Digiday’s first ex-staffer said that he was difficult to work with. I don’t believe he was able to admit what he didn’t know.
According to the first staffer, at least eight Immortals employees left because of problems with Immortals management. They stated that while turnover is common in Esports, they believe eight to ten people leaving involuntarily over the period of 8-10 months was quite notable.
These feelings spread to Immortals competitive players as well. Sherman posted a critique of the League of Legends team players on the Immortals Subreddit in April 2022. This caused controversy. Sherman was accused of making his fans feel guilty by using his players to make excuses.
Jake Pedro, former League of Legends general manger, tweeted on Dec. 22 that Sherman had left Immortals. Digiday reached out to Kaddoura and Pedro but they did not respond to our requests for comment.
Sherman isn’t the first high-ranking executive in esports to resign — and, if current trends continue, it won’t be his last. Kal Hourd was resigned as Guild Esports CEO in November 2022. Bill McCullough was evp for content at FaZe Clan, and Carlos Rodriguez was sacked as CEO from G2 Esports. There has been a lot of controversy around the dismissal of Carlos Rodriguez in September.
We are exactly at the stage of many mature industries in terms leadership. The same happened with tech CEOs; during the late 1990s and early 2000s there was a lot more people promoted than their capabilities,” Jason Chung (a New York University professor and director for the esports initiative and gaming initiative) said. It’s the Peter Principle: you can keep getting promoted when things go well but you eventually reach a limit in your skills, knowledge, and networks.
More heads will be rolling as the 2023 bear market causes the esports sector to start to lose its shine. Chung stated, “It is a bloodbath.” Chung said, “Honestly it seems a bit free for all.”