OpTic Gaming is moving Chicago to become OpTic Texas in a new merger with the Envy-owned Dallas Empire franchise. The ambitious merger has been teased since the end of the 2021 CDL season, but it was officially announced on Monday.
The decision leaves the CDL with only 11 teams for now, though it is unclear if the 2022 season will be played with only 11, or if another franchise could be added before the next CDL season.
"Announcing the merger of these two great brands opens up new abilities for creators and professional esports players to expand their reach as the latest Call of Duty: Vanguard title and new Warzone map are rolling out," explained the company in a press release. "Ultimately, the timing was an opportunity to do something truly special for the GREENWALL and all Call of Duty fans."
With the announcement of the new merger, both Optic Chicago and Dallas Empire are no more, with both uniting under the new Optic Texas banner. The roster for OpTic Texas will include Seth “Scump” Abneand Brandon “Dashy” Otell from Optic Chicago, and Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro and Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal from Dallas Empire. It is a promising roster, made up of some of the strongest players from each team's 2020 roster.
“There’s nothing I want more than having the freedom as a creator to create," Explained Optic Hector "HECZ" Rodriguez, owner of Optic. "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.”
“We’ve competed against each other since 2008, and I have a ton of respect for Hector and what he’s built," said Envy owner Mike “Hastr0” Rufail. "We genuinely care about each other. We are going to be much stronger together than apart.”
HECZ has also been added to the ownership group of the combined company, alongside Gray Television, Ken Hersh, Mike Rufail, Post Malone, and Fedor Holz. He will also remain the president of OpTic Gaming, and all current OpTic employees will also be staying on through the merger.
Optic Gaming was founded in 2006, and Hecz took over the brand and operations in 2007. He grew the company, and eventually solid the controlling interest to Infinite Esports and Entertainment in 2017, who was then bought by Immortals Gaming Club in 2019. Last year, in 2020, Hector purchased the OpTic Gaming brand back, before finally completing the new merger in 2021. Its been a long ride for fans of the GREENWALL.
Envy Gaming was founded around the same time in 2007, and has since grown to become one of the largest brands in North American esports. Based out of Texas, Envy operates numerous esports teams, including a successful VALORANT team, a successful Rocket League team, the Dallas Fuel Overwatch team, and now OpTic Texas in the Call of Duty league.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.