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Immortals acquires Infinite in landmark esports deal

Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) has acquired fellow US esports organisation Infinite Esports & Entertainment, parent company of OpTic Gaming, in what it claims marks the industry’s first $100m (€88.7m) deal of its kind.

The transaction, claimed to be the largest change of control transaction in esports history, values Infinite at more than $100m in enterprise value. On a pro forma basis, the transaction makes IGC one of the world’s largest esports organisations, boasting four distinct and elite brands (Immortals, OpTic, MIBR and LA Valiant) and a presence in both franchised esports leagues, League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) and the Overwatch League.

The transaction follows IGC’s $30m Series B fundraising last month, with the company stating it has a total reach now exceeding 35 million people across all platforms. IGC chief executive Ari Segal said: “We have announced a transformative transaction for our organisation and a landmark transaction for our industry.

“Across our family of brands, OpTic; MIBR; LA Valiant; and Immortals, IGC’s total audience size is nearly three times larger than our nearest competitors. At the same time, our multi-brand strategy enables us to tailor content, messaging, voice, and experience for distinct communities and audience segments, driving deeper engagement and affinity.

“Armed with these brands, the best fans in esports, the legacy and tradition of great teams and players, and a newly reinforced and strong balance sheet, IGC is positioned to be a market leader and model organisation.”

Current Infinite investors including Neil Leibman and Ray Davis, co-owners of Major League Baseball (MLB) team the Texas Rangers, will become shareholders in IGC. Leibman will join IGC’s Board of Directors, serving alongside AEG’s Steve Cohen, Meg Whitman, Lionsgate, Griffin Gaming Partners’ Peter Levin, the Milken family, and Steve Kaplan.

The transaction has already been approved by both Riot Games and Activision Blizzard, parent companies of the LCS and Overwatch League, respectively. The combined company’s team holdings will include Overwatch League franchise LA Valiant, OpTic’s Call of Duty World League team and League of Legends franchise, and Brazil’s flagship CS:GO team MIBR.

On an interim basis, IGC will manage the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws franchise as a distinct entity with its own dedicated staff, pending the sale of the franchise to a third party. The LCS franchise will continue to operate under the OpTic name until rebranding to Immortals in 2020.

IGC, which already competes in CS:GO through its MIBR brand, will divest OpTic’s CS:GO team.

“Bringing together OpTic and IGC creates an organisation with an impressive set of assets, a strong management team, a world class Board of Directors and the necessary capital to scale in an exciting marketplace,” Leibman said. “This amazing portfolio of complementary assets positions IGC to win.”