The Chiefs are hitting the big time.
The Oceanic esports scene is recognized as being among the fastest-growing and most dedicated in the world. Within that scene, Chiefs is considered a household name.
The Chiefs Esports Club, competing up until now under “Chiefs,” was founded in 2014 and has since been a staple across nearly every esport title in Australia. Their teams are four times Oceanic Pro League Champions in League of Legends, three times IEM Counter-Strike: Global Offensive qualifiers, RLCS World Champions in Rocket League, and more besides.
So it was not a surprise that larger organisations would have their eyes on buying out or taking ownership in Chiefs. This has finally happened, and the club is now signed under ICON ESPORTS. This is a new initiative launched in 2019 as a collaboration of many traditional sports investors, enterprise developers, and the region’s best industry experts.
Under ICON, the Chiefs get to retain their existing branding and team rosters, and it will be the ICON Rocket League team rebranding to Chiefs’ instead. This means the parent company, rather than taking over the locally recognised organization’s identity, will instead choose to operate from the shadows to focus on the bigger picture.
It is those operations that make this merger so interesting. ICON CEO Nick Bobir has spoken out about the esports “ecosystems development program” that is planned to launch in July 2019.
“We have made strides to develop new business lines which give back to the fans, grassroots and help promote the local landscape to new audiences. As a business, it’s important to diversify and strategise for the future,” Bobir said.
Alongside a newly restructured management team that still features some Chiefs contributors and CEO Frank Li along with an all-new set of shareholders, this is a big operation in the oceanic scene.
This could be the next step in the region’s esports scene receiving the recognition and traction that local players have wanted for years.