Over the past few weeks, OpTic Gaming has been going through some big changes to their organization on every level. The popular team has had to let go of multiple staff members across multiple games, and would also release a few players as well. The most recent development would be the release of Coach Kyle “KyKy” Souder from the Houston Outlaws.
The Outlaws are OpTic Gaming’s Overwatch League team. This is the second big announcement that OpTic Gaming would go through in the Overwatch scene. Their Overwatch Contenders team, GGEA, will not be competing in Overwatch Contenders North America Trials. Instead, teams will receive a free win due to their absence.
Just informed that I am also one of the many people being let go from Infinite/Optic/Outlaws. I've turned down opportunities to remain loyal to one organization but am now a free agent looking for a fresh start. Open to all staff positions, DM anytime.
— Kyle Souder (@KyKy) October 8, 2018
Trouble in the Overwatch League
According to Benchmob, GGEA had failed to lock in their rosters before the league’s deadline. Also, the report states that Infinite Esports and Entertainment, the parent company of OpTic Gaming, Houston Outlaws and GGEA, has enacted a “hiring freeze” on all teams. This may have affected the hiring and signing of staff and players throughout their esports brands.
Just received news that GGEA academy will not be competing in contenders trials and all teams will receive a free win.
— Thomas Mok (@maid_OW) October 6, 2018
The same report also states that GGEA had actually mishandled contract situations with the players of Contenders team, Last Night’s Leftovers. Sources confirm that most of the LNL roster were transferring over to GGEA. Players would be told that contracts were being drawn up, causing them to decline any incoming offers from other teams. However, the players would reportedly wait up to four weeks for contracts, only to never receive them. Also, GGEA would close all communication with the remaining LNL players and staff.
Infinite Esports and the List of Releases
Many people are stating that the reason for the big changes in the organization are stemming from OpTic Gaming’s parent company, Infinite Esports, and Entertainment. The company would first part ways with investors Deep Space Ventures after their co-founder was arrested for allegedly attacking his wife with a hammer. This may have affected any investments Infinite had in their plethora of esports.
First, Infinite would let go of their Director of International Development, Ali ‘Alicus’ Saba. He would spend almost a year with the company before his firing. Next, OpTic Gaming’s League of Legends team would release their NA LCS Analyst, Surza. Finally, they Romain Bigeard would leave his position as the General Manager of OpTic Gaming. Note that they had just hired Bigeard less than five months ago for the job. It seems that the shakeups at Infinite are having trickle-down effects for all the brands under their name.
Additionally, OpTic would make some changes to their individual teams. For example, right after a top-eight finish at The International, they would release their entire DOTA 2 roster. Recently, they would release ADC Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon, after a year with the team. Finally, they would release Anthony “Methodz” Zinni, a player on their Call of Duty roster.
The state of OpTic Gaming is definitely in flux, after the multiple staff and roster changes across their teams. OpTic content creator Davis ‘Hitch’ Edwards would hint that OpTic CEO, Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez, is considering a return to an active role within the org. Maybe his return could spell some solidarity within the team, especially with all the shakeups happening around his brand.
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