OpTic Gaming’s H3CZ gives message of hope to fans amid Immortals buyout speculation - Dexerto
Esports

OpTic Gaming’s H3CZ gives message of hope to fans amid Immortals buyout speculation

Published: 30/May/2019 13:10 Updated: 30/May/2019 14:27

by Calum Patterson

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OpTic Gaming CEO Hector ‘H3CZ‘ Rodriguez has given another update on the ongoing situation around a potential buyout of the brand from Immortals, as parent company Infinite Esports look to sell the organization.

Immortals are still thought to be front-runners in the buyout bidding, which would potentially see the OpTic brand effectively dissolved.

With teams competing in Call of Duty, League of Legends, CS:GO and the Overwatch League with the Houston Outlaws, as well as the popular content team, there is a lot at stake.

H3CZ says he hopes to have “good news” for fans soon.

Rodriguez has confirmed that he is “trying” to take back the brand himself, perhaps outright, or as part of a deal that would see him return to the daily operations of the organization.

He reportedly met with Immortals representatives in May, although the outcome of such a meeting is unknown. Returning to his daily vlogs, Rodriguez has confirmed that he is still “fighting”.

“As of Wednesday 29, still no final ‘no'” H3CZ explains, “[I’m] still fighting, and I’m hoping to be able to get some good news to you guys very soon.”

Timestamp at 1:46 for mobile users.

Although clearly dancing around giving away any specifics, H3CZ does state that “no matter what, I’m going to give you guys good news – I feel.”

With the negotiations still ongoing, and no end date in sight, fans will have to remain patient as the future of their beloved organization is debated over.

H3CZ also revealed on episode 30 of his Eavesdrop podcast, that in 2018 Infinite management had attempted to drop OpTic’s world famous Call of Duty team, but the move was prevented at the last minute.

H3CZ confirmation that there will be “good news” no matter what perhaps indicates that there is a plan B, or a secondary option, should he fail to secure the deal he desires initially.

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

Business

Activision in talks to reduce fees owed by CDL & Overwatch League teams

Published: 2/Dec/2020 22:14 Updated: 2/Dec/2020 22:35

by Theo Salaun

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Recent reports from The Esports Observer indicate that Activision Blizzard are in the midst of discussions to possibly reduce the amount the amount owed by Overwatch League and Call of Duty League franchises as part of their entry fees.

With all OWL and CDL plans derailed over the past year, Activision are reportedly trying to rework the hefty investments that organizations have made into their franchising opportunities. When the massive game development company pitched both leagues, neither was expected to be profitable in the short-term, but projections have taken an even greater hit due to current global restrictions.

A groundbreaking esports concept centered around the city-based model that is used in traditional sports, Activision required $20 million entry fees for the OWL’s first 12 teams and then fees in the range between $30 to $60 million for its next eight. For the CDL’s inaugural season, 12 teams needed to put up at least $25 million apiece, even more for cities that were in high-demand.

Now that the plans for local events have understandably shifted, neither league is expanding for their next season and ownership groups in both are looking for ways to save cash. As reported by The Esports Observer’s Adam Stern, this has engendered cost-cutting discussions with Activision’s latest new senior executive hire, Tony Petitti.

overwatch league 2020 event crowd
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
One of the many avid crowds at Overwatch League events.

Petitti, formerly Major League Baseball’s deputy commissioner, was hired by Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick to a senior role involved with both of their leagues as the President of Sports and Entertainment. He joins Johanna Faries, a former National Football League executive, who brings a traditional sports perspective as the commissioner for both the CDL and OWL.

Given their experience with city-based sports leagues, Activision is likely aware of the profitability challenges that their current esport and sport investment groups are facing. As such, it should be no surprise that they are willing to have conversations about concessions that can make current projections fit closer to the original expectations.

As Stern reports, those discussions have included discounting some of the original entry fees: “one idea that is being weighed is reducing the amount of money they owe to the video game maker.” 

Call of Duty League LAN
Call of Duty League
Following in the OWL’s footsteps, the CDL also had huge enthusiasm for live events.

With Immortals Gaming Club selling their Los Angeles Call of Duty franchise to 100 Thieves and reportedly being interested in selling their OWL spot as well, many are wondering if franchise valuations have shifted.

Fortunately, it appears that the profitability projections have remained somewhat consistent despite current predicaments. As reported by Forbes’ Christina Settimi, 100 Thieves COO John Robinson would not set an exact figure on their LA Thieves purchase, but suggested that “franchise values have held up.”

Activision would likely want to avoid an exodus of owners, so these discussions to cut costs and protect brand health are reportedly ongoing.