Esports

Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez announces OpTic Gaming exit

by Calum Patterson

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Longtime OpTic Gaming CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez has officially announced his departure from the organization in a joint statement with new ownership group Immortals Gaming Club.

Rodriguez, who led the organization since 2007, sold the controlling stake in the company to Infinite Esports & Entertainment in 2017, but after a troubled two years, Infinite was acquired by Immortals in June 2019, along with the OpTic brand.

H3CZ’s position in the new organization was initially unclear, with reports suggesting that he and Immortals CEO Ari Seagal had met to discuss a position for the now-former CEO.

Twitter: Wackman3029
Twitter: Wackman3029
H3CZ led OpTic Gaming for almost the entirety of its history.

In a joint statement on September 15, Immortals and Rodriguez confirmed that such meetings had taken place, and although they were “extensive and amicable”, H3CZ “declined the opportunity to remain in his current role with OpTic”.

“I have great respect for the Immortals Organization,” H3CZ explains in the statement, “they have treated me and all of OpTic’s players fairly during this transition period."

He released a video later in the day thanking all of the fans out there who supported him and OpTic in their journey, while also reassuring them he isn't going anywhere.

"I'll never be done doing what it is that I do," he said. "I'll never ever ever be done being me because this is my life's calling. This is my life's work."

He also teased his next move by putting on an NRG hoodie at the end of the video.


What’s next for H3CZ?

H3CZ has not officially revealed his future plans in esports, but the statement ends by confirming that “both parties look forward to the new Call of Duty franchised-league.” 

By joining NRG, H3CZ would be involved with the Chicago franchise, which was the previous base of OpTic prior to the Infinite takeover, when operations moved to Texas., 

Under H3CZ’s direction, OpTic became one of the most recognizable brands in all of esports and gaming entertainment, and new franchise organizations will likely find his skills and experience invaluable.

Robert Paul, Blizzard Entertainment
Robert Paul, Blizzard Entertainment
Houston Outlaws was OpTic's franchise in the Overwatch League.


What’s next for OpTic?

The Call of Duty team is the last remnants of the org, but the future of the 2019 season’s roster is now uncertain, with Crimsix having already announced restricted free agency.

Immortals hold one of two LA franchise spots in OpTic’s name for the upcoming Call of Duty franchise league, starting in 2020, but it’s unclear if any players from the old roster will be retained. The franchise’s name and branding is yet to be announced.

OpTic’s CS:GO and Overwatch League (Houston Outlaws) teams are to be sold off, while the League of Legends LCS team will be rebranded to Immortals in 2020.

Reports suggest that a deal has been agreed for the purchase of Houston Outlaws by Houston real estate investor Lee Zebien, in the region of $40 million.

Shortly after H3CZ' announcement, longtime member Di3sel also confirmed that he would "ride with my pal", and leave OpTic.

There has also been an exodus of OpTic content creators, with veterans of the organization like Michael ‘Flamesword’ ChavezWill ‘BigTymeR’ Johnson and Marcus ‘MBoZe’ Blanks all officially leaving.

Disclaimer: Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez is a minority shareholder in Dexerto Ltd.