The esports market is rapidly growing. With almost 200 teams across a dozen professional leagues, the esports industry is expected to reach $1.62 billion in revenue by 2024. Two big names in the space are joining forces to facilitate growth of their own and take the Call of Duty League (CDL) by storm.
Dallas-based Envy Gaming and Frisco-based OpTic Gaming announced an official merger that will mark the end of their respective professional CDL teams. The OpTic Chicago and Dallas Empire teams will be conjoined under the new name OpTic Texas. Following the rebrand, OpTic Texas will be able to compete in professional Call of Duty tournaments using the top players from both former teams.
Esports refers to organized video game competitions wherein different teams, on the professional and amateur levels, play against one another in popular video games. Some titles include Fortnite, League of Legends, Call of Duty and Madden NFL. The competitions receive support from advertisers or sponsors, and audiences around the world buy tickets to view them live.
OpTic and Envy, headed by Hector Rodriguez and Mike Rufail respectively, are bringing together two teams that have competed against one another in past tournaments. Rodriguez will join the newly combined company’s ownership group and serve as OpTic’s president. Rufail will retain his position at Envy, and the company will continue to operate out of its 21,000-square-foot headquarters in Dallas.
In addition to OpTic Texas in the CDL, Envy will continue to power the Dallas Fuel in the Overwatch League as well as the Halo Championship Series, Valorant and Rocket League teams, according to its website. Despite operating within the same business, the companies will still manage their respective ventures.
“There’s nothing I want more than having the freedom as a creator to create,” Rodriguez stated in an article by INVEN Global. “It’s a comfort level of trust in Mike [Rufail] and the investment group he’s put together that has been there for years and that I know from personal experience. Finding people you trust and you want to build with is the most important thing for the future of OpTic.”
With the merger, the companies also hope to open new capabilities for both creators and professional esports players, according to Dallas Innovates.