ACTIVISION BLIZZARD: LOS ANGELES AND MINNESOTA JOIN NEW CALL OF DUTY ESPORTS LEAGUE
July 1, 2019 – Following the successful sale of the first five city-based franchises in the league, Activision Blizzard Esports has today revealed additional partners for the future vision of Call of Duty esports. The addition today of Minnesota and Los Angeles brings the league’s currently announced number of teams to seven; Activision Blizzard has previously unveiled teams representing Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Paris, and Toronto.
The two new teams are:
- Los Angeles, CA – Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) is 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; and Gamers Club, the leading matchmaking platform and community hub for gamers in Brazil and Latin America.
- Minnesota – 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.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard: “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.”
Pete Vlastelica, President and CEO at Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues: “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.”
FROM THE OWNERS
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.”
ABOUT THE NEW OWNERSHIP GROUPS
About Immortals Gaming Club (IGC): Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) is 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; and Gamers Club, the leading matchmaking platform and community hub for gamers in Brazil and Latin America. IGC’s mission is to create the world’s most inclusive, engaged, and connected community of gamers. Connect with us at www.IGC.gg.
About WISE Ventures:
WISE Ventures is 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. The organization is built on the foundation of an innovative and visionary culture coupled with a committed team of talented people. WISE Ventures brings unmatched value to its companies through its deep industry networks and world-class management experience.
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
About Activision Blizzard Esports
Activision Blizzard Esports is responsible for the development and operation of premier Activision Blizzard professional gaming properties including the Overwatch League™ and the Call of Duty® World League, as well as the commercialization of the entire Blizzard Esports portfolio. Launched in 2017, the Overwatch League is the world’s first major global esports league with city-based teams, with 20 teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. In 2019, the Call of Duty World League Presented by PlayStation®4 will deliver five vs. five team play featuring Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4. It is Activision Blizzard Esports’ vision to be the most innovative, scalable, and valuable developer of global competitive entertainment.
About Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the Fortune 500 and S&P 500, is a leading standalone interactive entertainment company. We delight hundreds of millions of monthly active users around the world through franchises including Activision’s Call of Duty®, Spyro™, and Crash™, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, and Heroes of the Storm®, and King’s Candy Crush™, Bubble Witch™, and Farm Heroes™. The company is one of the Fortune “100 Best Companies To Work For®.” Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activisionblizzard.com.
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