Steven R. June 12, 2019
The OpTic Gaming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team is caught in the crossfire of their organization’s business dealings.
Following a report from Unikrn that Immortals is planning to divest from OpTic’s CS:GO team, Immortals executive Tomi Kovanen took to Twitter to discuss the squad's future. He confirmed the news that Immortals is looking to sell the team, and added they are working with the squad on finding them a new organization.
"We want to find the OpTic CS:GO team a new home as soon as we can," Kovanen said. "We’ve reached out to Valve regarding major qualifiers and are working with the team to ensure they’re as happy as possible with the ultimate outcome."
This comes at an awkward time for the squad as the news was broken during the closed qualifiers for the StarLadder Major’s Europe Minor event.
The owners of OpTic Gaming parent company Infinite Esports and Entertainment have been seeking a buyer for the brand and its holdings since the start of 2019. The company approved a buyout last week from Immortals Gaming Club worth between $35 and $45 million.
While Immortals primarily purchased OpTic in order to return to competitive League of Legends through the organization’s LCS franchise, the acquisition resulted in a number of overlapping interests with other esports titles.
Among those were Immortals Gaming Club having two CS:GO teams under its umbrella, with OpTic joining the existing MiBR roster. Last year, Valve implemented rules designed to prevent conflicts of interest for esports organizations at CS:GO majors. These rules barred players from having a financial interest in other competitors and prevents organizations from fielding multiple teams at the same tournament.
With MiBR retaining Legend status from its top-four finish at the IEM Katowice Major in March, Immortals is in a position where it needs to either sell off or release OpTic’s CS:GO team. It is unclear what level of interest there is from other organizations, but it seems like the Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer-led squad will be competing under a new banner in the immediate future.
That said, there are no guarantees regarding the team's future.
In recent months, the organization has lost star players René "cajunb" Borg and Jakob "JUGi" Hansen. Though OpTic has remained active in CS:GO events, it hasn’t found especially great success with its biggest achievement in recent months being its third-place performance in the Esports Championship Series Season 7 Europe division.
The team most recently failed to qualify for the StarLadder Major’s Europe Minor after being eliminated by Sprout.
In addition to parting ways with the OpTic CS:GO team, Immortals is also tasked with finding a buyer for the Houston Outlaws. The Overwatch League team needs to be sold off for similar reasons due to rules preventing multiple teams from being held by the same ownership group. According to Steiner, Immortals will continue managing the Outlaws under the oversight of the Overwatch League until a buyer can be found.