A few days ago, we reported that the purchase of Infinite Esports & Entertainment had been completed. Recently, ESPN reported on more details surrounding Immortals’ acquisition. They reportedly had to pay anywhere from $35 to $45 million to finalize the deal. Furthermore, the Immortals Gaming Club is now solely responsible for any financial liabilities the company might have. They are currently working on the legal paperwork and are in talks with Activision Blizzard over the included OWL spot.
After this deal is finalized, the Immortals Gaming Club will be in full control of all of Infinite’s teams and esports businesses. This includes the OpTic Gaming brand and all their teams as well as the Houston Outlaws. However, Immortals will be forced to sell the Outlaws due to their already owning the Los Angeles Valiant. Following the Outlaws sale, OpTic Gaming will join the plethora of esports-related assets Immortals own. As you might already know, the Immortals Gaming Club already owns Immortals, MIBR, Gamers Club, and the aforementioned LA Valiant.
What is interesting is that the Infinite Esports company has many debts from the past. They still need to pay $5 of the $13 million in LCS franchising fees and still owe OpTic Gaming the money for the acquisition. However, they have reportedly covered the cost of the Overwatch League as well as another $10 million payment.
While the finals details aren’t known yet, the ownership groups of Infinite Esports are expected to get some equity in Immortals. Furthermore, it is expected that they will be getting some cash payments over the next year.
The acquisition will most likely bring a lot of the changes to the teams under the Immortals brand. Their LCS franchise is expected to rebrand going into the 2020 season, as the LCS rules don’t allow them to rebrand mid-split. Additionally, they are discussing a Call of Duty World League franchise spot purchase for 2020.
With the introduction of franchising in the North American LCS, teams were expected to stay long-term partners as the system offers them reliability and revenue share. However, OpTic Gaming rebranding to Immortals will now be the second rebrand going into the 2020 season. The first to announce a rebrand in 2020 was Dignitas, after merging with current LCS organization Clutch Gaming. The latter was far more surprising, as rumors about a potential OpTic Gaming spot sale have been around since the start of the 2019 spring split. This means two out of 10 teams will be making branding changes after just two seasons of franchising.
While it doesn’t seem like a big deal now, it might become one in the future. The franchising fees seem to be quite high and might lead to more buyouts. This is especially true for teams that don’t consistently finish at the top of the standings. It is seen as one of the bad sides of franchising, as the system itself prevents new teams from entering the league.
Do you think Immortals taking over the OpTic Gaming spot will lead to the team becoming a contender? 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.