Immortals CEO Ari Segal discusses imminent return to the LCS
Since Immortals Gaming Club announced the acquisition of Infinite Esports, the parent company of OpTic Gaming and the Houston Outlaws, League of Legends fans have been wondering about the return of Immortals to the LCS.
According to Immortals CEO Ari Segal, OpTic Gaming will retain its branding for the remainder of the 2019 LCS season. Then the team will rebrand in 2020, marking Immortals' first time in the LCS since 2017.
Segal explained that in order to move the business forward they had to find a way back into the LCS.
“In some respects, I think this acquisition was born out of our failure to get into LCS originally two years ago,” Segal told Esports Observer.
Despite being one of the most popular League of Legends teams in 2017, the Immortals organization was denied entry into the following LCS season. Riot Games stated it was due to the Immortals' uncertain financial sustainability. But many fans felt that Riot was punishing them for buying into the Overwatch League with the franchising of the Los Angeles Valiant. The Immortals soon disbanded their League of Legends team.
While Immortals plan to rebrand OpTic in 2020, Segal admits that he already likes what OpTic stands for.
"It's the perfect brand. It is a community-driven brand that resonates, stands for something, and to some degree, we sit on the perimeter on that just trying to help that brand continue on its trajectory. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel and pat ourselves on the back for doing it," Segal said.
But the acquisition is bringing about further changes for Immortals.
Since Activision Blizzard's guidelines state that one company cannot own two Overwatch League teams, Immortals will be selling the Houston Outlaws. Segal stated that he has yet to consider rebranding OpTic when it comes to the OWL.
Immortals has also released its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, followed by their Gears of War roster.
“We went out aggressively because we felt that OpTic as a brand and as a community was the crown jewel in all of esports. As we thought about our broader portfolio, having the crown jewel of esports at the heart of that was something we felt that we needed to have," Segal stated.
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