OpTic Gaming CEO H3cz leaves team, joins NRG Esports as co-CEO
Steven R. September 16, 2019
OpTic Gaming’s CEO has split off from the esports organization he helmed for more than a decade and has found a new home.
OpTic Gaming and Hector “H3cz” Rodriguez released a joint statement announcing his departure from the company. The move stems from changes to OpTic since being acquired by Immortals Gaming Club earlier this year.
“Since completing its acquisition of Infinite Esports and Entertainment, the parent company of OpTic Gaming, Immortals Gaming Club and Hector “H3cz” Rodriguez have held extensive and amicable conversations about the future of OpTic and Rodriguez’s role within the organization,” the statement begins. “Ultimately, Rodriguez declined the opportunity to remain in his current role with OpTic and instead chose to pursue new and independent ventures.”
Rodriguez follows this with a quote of his own, praising the Immortals organization and stating that both he and OpTic’s remaining players have been treated “fairly.” Immortals Gaming Club CEO Ari Segal stated Rodriguez “left a permanent mark on esports.”
A few hours later, NRG Esports revealed that H3cz has joined the organization as their new co-CEO on Twitter.
Why did H3cz leave OpTic Gaming?
Earlier this year, Immortals Gaming Club acquired Infinite Esports and Entertainment. Immortals Gaming Club fields high-end teams across almost every major esports title under a number of different brands, including MiBR in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the Los Angeles Valiant in Overwatch.
Immortals previously had a successful League of Legends roster, but were forced out of the game in 2017 when they were denied a franchise in the LCS. The move was controversial among LoL fans at the time and was undoubtedly frustrating for Immortals decision makers, with some suggestion Riot has been biased against Immortals after the esports organization also invested in the Overwatch League. Despite that, the organization has since looked for a way back into the game.
An opportunity presented itself in January when Texas Esports, a part of Infinite’s ownership group owned by Texas Rangers owner Neil Leibman, began seeking a buyer for their shares in the company. A number of interested buyers stepped forward, including a group led by Rodriguez and former Infinite Esports executive Chris Chaney, but none were able to match the offer put forward by Immortals Gaming Club.
In the months since, Immortals have been divesting from OpTic’s standing operations on multiple fronts. Immortals has been actively looking to sell OpTic’s CSGO team and has successfully sold the Houston Outlaws Overwatch League Franchise as of July. OpTic’s LCS team will be rebranded as Immortals next season.
The future of OpTic Gaming looks bleak, and with Rodriguez leaving, it has fewer connections to its origins than it ever has.
H3cz joins NRG Esports
"You're stuck on every single adventure that I go on," H3cz said in the announcement video while pulling an NRG Esports hoodie over his head. "You're stuck on every single project that I'm going to be a part of and for that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
While many esports executives and managers are generally anonymous, H3cz has arguably been the biggest personality attached with OpTic Gaming over the years. He boasts over 900,000 followers on Twitter and has almost as many subscribers on YouTube. That fan following, coupled with his accrued knowledge of how to run an organization, could make him a valuable addition to NRG Esports.
NRG founder Andy Miller acknowledged this on Twitter following the announcement.
"A big day for NRG and big personal day for me. So excited to have H3cz as my duo," Miller said. "Big things ahead for NRG. The year of eNeRGy continues to roll!"
The addition of H3cz follows NRG Esports purchasing the Chicago franchise for the upcoming Call of Duty League. H3cz's new duties with the team remain a mystery, but odds are he will be a big part of building that division.