H3CZ accuses Activision of “forcing” sale of OpTic Gaming and ENVY merger

Jeremy Gan
OpTic Gaming logo image

Detailed in a lawsuit filed by CoD legend Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, he alleged Activision “forced” him to sell his holdings in OpTic Gaming and merge with Envy Gaming in order to fund their CDL franchise. 

Arguably Call of Duty’s most popular player, Seth “Scump” Abner, and OpTic’s owner H3CZ filed a lawsuit against Activision on February 15, 2024, alleging an “unlawful monopoly” over CoD’s esports scene. 

The lawsuit addresses various allegations, from CDL’s tight grip on teams’ ability to participate in non-CDL tournaments, to Activision limiting brands that individual teams and players can sign with, the accusations range far and wide.

One such accusation from OpTic’s owner H3CZ accuses Activision of “forcing” him to sell off his ownership in OpTic and eventually merge with Envy Gaming to afford to stay in the CDL. 

In late 2020, H3CZ supposedly attempted to become an independent team owner in the CDL by re-acquiring OpTic and the CDL slot from Immortals Gaming after selling off the brand in 2017. 

However, upon attempting to become the sole owner of a CDL slot, H3CZ was allegedly denied by Activision.

“Activision first asked Rodriguez to provide proof that he had at least $3 million in capital. After Rodriguez provided such proof, Activision then moved the goalposts, demanding that Rodriguez provide Activision proof that he could secure a $10 million letter of credit,” the lawsuit alleges. 

H3CZ was then supposedly told by an Activision executive that he was not the “type of owner” the publisher wanted in the league, making clear that he would be “required to “partner” with billionaire investors who ‘looked’ like Activision’s ideal or leave the professional Call of Duty market altogether.

As a result of Activision’s “threat”, H3CZ claims he was “forced to ‘partner’ with investors that met Activision’s approval.”

“Under the terms of the forced partnership, Rodriguez had to agree to relinquish more than 90% of the equity in his OpTic brand,” the lawsuit alleges. 

The lawsuit also alleges that OpTic’s merger with Envy Gaming in November 2021 under H3CZ’s operation would not have happened if not for “the economic duress imposed on Rodriguez by Activision.”

As a result, H3CZ alleges in the lawsuit, “Activision’s conduct forced Rodriguez to give to the billionaire investors’ company Envy Gaming, Inc. a 92.5% ownership share of OpTic.”

The lawsuit ultimately alleges that H3CZ was “forced” to partner with Envy Gaming to “satisfy the fixed price and partnership requirements set by Activision… which he would not have had to do but for [Activision’s] (and it’s co-conspirators’) unlawful conduct.”

Dexerto received the following statement from an Activision spokesperson on the lawsuit’s allegations: 

“Mr. Rodriguez (aka OpTic H3CZ) and Mr. Abner (aka Scump) demanded that Activision pay them tens of millions of dollars to avoid this meritless litigation, and when their demands were not met, they filed. We will strongly defend against these claims, which have no basis in fact or in law.”

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About The Author

Jeremy is a writer on the Australian Dexerto team. He studied at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and graduated with a Bachelors in Journalism. Jeremy mainly covers esports such as CS:GO, Valorant, Overwatch, League of Legends, and Dota 2, but he also leans into gaming and entertainment news as well. You can contact Jeremy at jeremy.gan@dexerto.com or on Twitter @Jer_Gan