Following the successful sale of the first five city-based franchises in the league, Activision Blizzard Esports has revealed additional partners for the future of Call of Duty esports. The addition today of Minnesota and Los Angeles brings the league’s announced number of teams to seven. Previously, Activision Blizzard teams representing Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Toronto, and even Paris.
Wondering about some team specifics? Here they are!
The team representing Los Angeles, California comes from Immortals Gaming Club (IGC), the world’s first vertically integrated, truly global esports and gaming company. IGC owns and operates IGC esports, which houses the company’s competitive esports brands Immortals, Los Angeles Valiant (Overwatch League), OpTic Gaming and MIBR. In addition, they also own Gamers Club, the leading matchmaking platform and community hub for gamers in Brazil and Latin America.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard had this to say about IGC:
“I’m excited to welcome the newest teams, Los Angeles and Minnesota, to our incredible lineup – Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris and Toronto – for Call of Duty esports. Together, these ownership groups represent some of the very best organizations in esports and traditional sports who will join us in paving the way for the future of professional, city-based competition for Call of Duty.”
As for Minnesota, that team is brought to us by WISE Ventures, an investment fund based in Manhattan focused on early and growth stage investment opportunities that leverage our strategic value. Led by an ownership group with deep sports & entertainment and real estate experience, WISE is able to assess, champion, and add value to next-gen companies in those industries.
“We’re very excited to welcome WISE Ventures into the esports community and to partner with both WISE Ventures and OpTic Gaming for the future of Call of Duty esports. Activision Blizzard Esports is dedicated to partnering with organizations that have a passion for competitive entertainment and share our vision for the future of esports,” said Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO at Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues.
In their press release today, Activision Blizzard also shared the owners thoughts on this new venture:
Ari Segal, CEO, Immortals Gaming Club (LOS ANGELES):
“By participating in the city-based model, we recognize the opportunity that the new Call of Duty esports league creates for us to tap into two existing sources of affinity: regional or city-based pride, and affinity for Call of Duty itself. Call of Duty League also allows us to scale the relationships we’ve been fortunate to build with both Activision Blizzard Esports leadership and senior management into a new and largely distinct market segment.”
Jonathan Wilf, WISE Ventures (MINNESOTA):
“Esports and competitive gaming has clearly emerged as a major force in the sports and entertainment industry. We have explored various opportunities in esports over the past few years, and we believe the new Call of Duty esports league is well positioned for long term success.”
PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED OWNERSHIP GROUPS
- Atlanta, GA – Atlanta Esports Ventures, a joint venture owned by Cox Enterprises and Province, Inc. dedicated to bringing esports entertainment to the city of Atlanta
- Dallas, TX – Envy Gaming Inc., a staple in esports since 2007 with teams competing this year in the Call of Duty World League (Envy) and Overwatch League (Dallas Fuel)
- New York, NY – Sterling.VC, an early stage sports and media company backed by Sterling Equities – a family-run group of companies owned by the Wilpon and Katz families with several business operations including the New York Mets
- Paris, France – c0ntact Gaming, LLC., is the parent company of both the Overwatch League team, Paris Eternal, and the Paris Call of Duty esports team
- Toronto, Canada – OverActive Media, an integrated company delivering esports and video game entertainment to the Canadian market