Recently, the Dignitas organization announced on their official Twitter that they have mutually parted ways with Michael “ODEE” O’Dell. This comes as a huge shock with ODEE being seen as one of the founding fathers of esports. Furthermore, the organization announced they will be appointing a new General Manager in the coming weeks. The new GM will supposedly operate in Los Angeles alongside their new LCS franchise. The reasoning for the departure is still unknown, but it might have something to do with the change of ownership and the recent Clutch Gaming acquisitions.
The reactions on Twitter also proved how unexpected ODEE’s departure is. In the comments under the posting, people are seriously questioning the decision. Additionally, some are even saying this is the “end of an era” and further question why the departure had to be made public. A lot of people see ODEE as one of the most iconic owners in esports, comparing him to the likes of Cloud9’s Jack Etienne or TSM’s Andy “Reginald” Dinh.
Fortunately, the departure doesn’t mean the end of ODEE’s esports legacy. In a tweet on his personal Twitter, ODEE confirmed he will still be working on growing the esports scene. Furthermore, he added he has been doing it for 20 years and is free to work immediately. We wouldn’t be surprised if some smaller esports organization with management problems picks him up soon.
ODEE founded the Dignitas organization in 2003 with the merger of two Battlefield 1942 clans. The organization still has its headquarters in the United Kingdom, even though they were acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2016. They currently have teams competing in a plethora of esports titles. The most notable include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Smite, and League of Legends. In fact, they have been one of the first teams in the League of Legends competitive scene, having teams in both Europe and North America.
The organization saw a rebrand last year, dropping the “Team” in its name altogether. Furthermore, they also changed their logo from the iconic Dignitas ghost to an owl. As a fun fact, I’d like to mention the organization has been heavily involved in the female esports scene. They currently have one of the most successful female Conter-Strike: Global Offensive teams, who are still active in the scene.
We wish ODEE and Dignitas the best of luck in the future. Do you think ODEE’s departure will have a big impact on the esports scene? Let us know in the comments below.
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Vince Koyle is an esports writer, tech nerd and future CompSci student. He often likes to compare traditional sports to esports, showing his love for both kinds. Also tends to sometimes try too hard with explaining what esports is and how it isn’t any different than traditional sports. He mainly covers the League of Legends scene, with an emphasis on European and Asian leagues.