Steven R. May 3, 2019
Immortals is looking to get back into the League of Legends business.
According to a report by ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, Immortals is looking to purchase OpTic Gaming. OpTic has reportedly been talking with prospective buyers since February.
Immortals is one of the largest organizations in esports, fielding teams in multiple games with a variety of brands including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s MiBR and the Overwatch League’s Los Angeles Valiant. From 2015 to 2017, Immortals fielded a competitive League of Legends team which quickly became one of the most popular in the LCS.
This ended abruptly when the organization was denied a spot in the LCS for the 2018 season. Though the reasons were officially due to Riot Games’ concerns over Immortals’ finances and its ability to contribute to the LCS’s revenue share, many viewed it as an act of punishment for Immortals being among the first to buy into the Overwatch League.
Though Immortals is a giant in esports, OpTic Gaming is no small outfit either. The organization competes in a number of games including CS:GO, Call of Duty, and Overwatch as the Houston Outlaws.
In January, ESPN reported that OpTic’s majority owner Texas Esports, LLC was seeking $150 million for its share of the organization. The nine-figure valuation stemmed from its ownership of permanent franchises in both the Overwatch League and LCS.
Because of rules implemented to prevent conflicts of interest in most esports titles, the move by Immortals to acquire OpTic is speculated to be largely driven by Immortals’ desire to return to the LCS. Overwatch League rules prevent multiple teams being owned by the same company. Similar rules are in place for CS:GO majors as well as The International in Dota 2, a title which both Immortals and OpTic have previously dabbled in. Should Immortals buy OpTic, it is unclear what the organization would do with the Houston Outlaws or the OpTic Gaming CS:GO team.
Fueling Immortals’ push to buy OpTic is a $30 million round of Series B funding. Immortals has already begun spending it, buying out Brazilian matchmaking service Gamers Club with plans of expanding further in the country.
Though acquiring OpTic would be a major coup for Immortals, the deal is far from being done. It is unknown how many other bidders are interested in OpTic and whether any are hitting that reported $150 million mark. There is also a major variable in Riot Games and its potential ability to deny Immortals readmission to the LCS.
It is unknown what stage the OpTic sale is in and there is no timetable for when the organization may officially be sold.