A renowned League of Legends franchise will be making their way back into North American pro play after the owners of team Dignitas principally agreed to buy the majority stake in Clutch Gaming.
Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), owners of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and team Dignitas, have tentatively agreed to buy the majority stake in Clutch Gaming from the Houston Rockets.
In a report by ESPN, HBSE will put forth a $20 million investment that will see the organization rebranded to Dignitas, which should come after 2019’s slate of pro play events.
Dignitas entering the LCS
Team Dignitas had previously entered their bid to become a part of the newly structured LCS back in 2017, but their application had been denied.
Fans who were left wondering why the team couldn’t make it in during the initial process will leave those questions behind as they look forward to the Dignitas colors adorning the LCS studio once again.
The LCS hasn’t had a newcomer since it switched over to franchising its teams, making the deal a first of its kind in the new era.
Franchise under new management
The Rockets will be taking $12.5 million in cash from the deal while the rest of the $7.5 million will go toward funding the team until 2021. This includes paying Riot Games $1.5 million for the initial $13 million it cost to franchise the team.
Since HBSE will own a majority of the company, a new entity called ‘Mal País’ will be heading up the management for both Dignitas and Clutch.
CEO of Dignitas Michael Prindiville will be leading the newly formed management group, and will have a board composed of HBSE executives and longtime industry leaders.
At the time of writing, it is unclear if the restructured brand has plans on keeping their current LCS roster. Clutch Gaming finished the 2019 Spring Split with a 5-13 record, narrowly avoiding last place in the standings.