After previously revealing Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Toronto, and Paris acquiring Call of Duty franchise spots, another two have been purchased. Immortals Gaming Club’s OpTic Gaming secured the Los Angeles spot and WISE Ventures grabbed the Minnesota Call of Duty slot. Many in the gaming community may not have heard of the Manhattan-based fund, but they are most known for owning the Minnesota Vikings. WISE Ventures belongs to Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf.
The Minnesota Call of Duty team will be run by Brett Diamond, who will become WISE Ventures’ esports Chief Operating Officer. “We look forward to engaging with the gaming community in Minnesota and the broader region to create a first-class fan experience,” said Brett Diamond, the previous Director of Partnership Strategy with the Minnesota Vikings. “It is important for our first step to be listening and learning what is important to this community. Under the leadership of the Wilf Family, we will bring the same level of dedication and long-term vision to building this organization that you have seen with the Vikings over the past 14 years.”
Jonathan Wilf will also serve as president for the esports franchise. He is the son of current Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. The Call of Duty esports team doesn’t yet have an official name. The Wilf family, which owns WISE Ventures, is estimated to have a net worth of $5.3 billion as of 2017. Mark and Zygi Wilf were born in a Jewish family that fled Nazi-occupied Poland. The Wilf family started in real estate where they constructed over 25,000 homes in 39 states across the country. In 2005, the two brothers then acquired the Minnesota Vikings.
The new esports venture will be run with a different team than the Vikings. Another well-known investor joining the ownership group of the Minnesota Call of Duty franchise spot is Gary Vaynerchuk. Vaynerchuk is the CEO of VaynerMedia along with being a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. He said the following:
Over many years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting close with the Wilf family and really got to know them as the amazing humans they are. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be in business together now that the team has been officially announced. Having been on the sidelines & watching the gaming industry evolve & grow, getting involved with Activision Blizzard and the future of Call of Duty, along with the leadership and vision of Bobby Kotick this was the perfect recipe for me. Excited to bring value to the entire gaming landscape for years to come.
Details related to the CDL league format, exact dates on events during the 2020 season, and schedule have yet to be released. More details can be found on the Minnesota Call of Duty Twitter page. The team will be located near the Innovation Center building on the Viking Lakes campus in Eagan. WISE Ventures is also exploring the possibility of building an esports arena on the Viking Lakes campus. The organization may further invest in teams for other esports leagues.
Will you be rooting for the Minnesota Call of Duty team?
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