- Optimism has poached Polygon Labs’ global business development head.
- The move follows the hiring of former Polygon Labs President Ryan Wyatt as growth lead two months ago.
- The recent hires suggest that the Ethereum Layer 2 solution aims to boost its gaming ecosystem.
A corporate poaching dynamic is emerging as the Optimism Foundation and Polygon Labs lock horns in the war to offer the dominant tech stack for Ethereum Layer 2 chains. After snagging up former Polygon Labs President Ryan Wyatt as a growth lead in November 2023, Optimism has managed to lure another key Polygon Labs executive.
A Play to Bolster Optimism’s Gaming Ecosystem?
In a LinkedIn post on Monday, January 8, Urvit Goel announced that he was stepping down as head of global business development at Polygon Labs to take on the same role at Optimism Unlimited, a subsidiary of the Optimism Foundation.
"I'm excited to be starting a new position leading Global Business Development at Optimism Unlimited! I'm looking forward to being a core contributor to the Superchain vision which will maximize interoperability & composability between different chains using OP Stack! I'll be building a team out as we have some ambitious growth goals!" Goel's post read.
Wyatt, who had made a similar transition roughly two months ago, confirmed Goel’s move in an X post, asserting that he was excited to be reunited with his former teammate.
Like Wyatt, who had formerly served as the head of YouTube’s gaming division, Goel also boasts an extensive background in gaming, suggesting that Optimism may be looking to bolster its gaming ecosystem.
Goel had served as Amazon’s gaming division’s business development and strategy lead for nearly half a decade from June 2017 before joining Polygon in March 2022. During his almost two-year stint at Polygon Labs, he claims to have spearheaded vital partnerships with brands like Square Enix, Sega, and Epic League.
The State of Optimism’s Gaming Ecosystem
Despite being the second-largest Ethereum scaling solution by market cap, Optimism’s gaming ecosystem has struggled to keep up with the competition.
Game7’s Web3 gaming report for 2023 ranked Optimism sixth in terms of games per Ethereum Layer 2 ecosystems, with an estimated ten games behind the newly launched Base, Starnket, Mantle, Arbitrum, and Immutable.
In comparison, Polygon ranked as the leading ecosystem for Web3 games across all blockchains, including Layer 2 chains, with over 250 games.
Despite early struggles, gaming remains a highly anticipated frontier for wide-scale blockchain adoption.
On the Flipside
- Polygon has been able to lure Manta Network, a project built on Optimism’s OP Stack, to transition to a project built on its Chain Development Kit (CDK).
Why This Matters
Urvit Goel oversaw several partnerships that have been instrumental in developing Polygon’s gaming ecosystem. His move to Optimism could spark similar developments, intensifying the growing competition between the Ethereum scaling firms.
Read this to learn more about the recent executive carousel:
Optimism Snags Ex-Polygon Labs President as L2 Battle Rages
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