Minnesota RØKKR owners Version1 exploring potential merger

Minnesota rokkr cdl major eventCall of Duty League

North American esports organization Version1, whose properties include CDL franchise Minnesota RØKKR, is exploring different options for the future, including a merger with another gaming or esports company.

Brett Diamond, Chief Operating Officer at Version1, told FOX 9 that the company has had “productive conversations with a number of different esports organizations” as it explores options for its future amid growing uncertainty about the sustainability of the esports industry during a period of rising inflation and interest rate hikes.

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According to Diamond, those conversations did not involve other organizations with CDL franchise slots. Per the league’s rules, a company cannot hold more than one franchise slot. In the event that an acquisition results in a scenario where a company controls more than one slot, a grace period is afforded for a buyer to be found.

Version1 are co-owned by the Wilf family and entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk. In addition to the Minnesota RØKKR Call of Duty team, the organization operates a women’s Valorant roster, currently competing in VCT: Game Changers NA, and a men’s Rocket League squad that finished 5th-8th at last year’s World Championship.

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Version1 ValorantVersion1
Version1 have one of the best women’s Valorant teams in North America

The news of Version1’s interest in a merger with another company comes just days after historical esports organization CLG was acquired by NRG. As a result of the deal, Madison Square Garden, CLG’s parent company, became “a significant minority shareholder” in NRG, who will re-enter the LCS, North America’s top League of Legends competition.

According to Diamond, the Wilf family could remain involved in Version1 even in the event of a sale or merger.

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“We’re starting a sales process for the team,” Diamond said. “The ideal scenario is that the Wilfs stay involved in some capacity and continue to have a role in the organization and the esports industry more broadly.”

In an interview with Digiday, the Version1 chief praised the company’s financial health, noting that its financial projections have been met every year. But at the same time, Version1 felt “now was the right time to pursue this path” as the industry is going through a period of consolidation.

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“This is not about 2023 or 2024,” he said. “This is about what the industry looks like in 2030 and 2035 and beyond, and what that path looks like for an organization of the size and scale that we’re at currently.”

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