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Fragster | 1. September 2021

CoD – OpTic Gaming & Dallas Empire in merger talks

According to reports, OpTic Gaming and the Dallas Empire are in discussions to merge, a move which would see the Chicago Call of Duty League slot sold to a third party. Envy Gaming, NRG Esports and Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez are all holding talks to complete the deal, according to Dot Esports.

While nothing has been finalized to date, it would appear that H3CZ is to finally break away from NRG, with the 41-year-old being the current owner of OpTic Chicago. Speculation surrounding H3CZ’s future first began back in May, with it seeming that his exit could be confirmed in the coming days/weeks.

Why H3CZ wants out at NRG Esports

H3CZ would work alongside Empire owners and Envy Gaming management, including former rival Mike “Hastr0” Rufail. It is understood that H3CZ informed his colleagues that he no longer wished to work together in the fall of last year. While a resolution to the situation has been worked on, nothing has come to fruition.

While NRG agreed to allow H3CZ to find funding in order to purchase the organization from OpTic, the American veteran was unable to do so in time. Following this, the Call of Duty League granted H3CZ permission to take responsibility for OpTic’s payroll and operational costs, something he was ultimately unable to cover. As a result, NRG had to step up and fund the team.

Image: OpTic Chicago CEO H3CZ

Both OpTic & Empire release Call of Duty Pros

The Chicago slot is now up for grabs, albeit without OpTic being involved. As a result, H3CZ is heading an attempt to take OpTic to Texas. Speculation only mounted after both OpTic and Empire each parted ways with two active Call of Duty League rosters, with a merger appearing increasingly likely.

Crimsix and Vivid were cut from the Empire lineup, while FormaL and Envoy both departed OpTic, with the former having announced his retirement from competitive gaming. Just for players now remain between the two teams, Scump, Dashy, Shotzzy and iLLeY.

NRG only acquired the OpTic Brand at the end of the 2020 Call of Duty League season, with H3CZ having help create the Chicago Huntsmen. OpTic remained part of the Immortals Gaming Club, who held the Los Angeles Call of Duty League slot. Immortals then sold the OpTic brand to NRG, as well as the LA slot to 100 Thieves, helping to form the Los Angeles Thieves. It now looks like OpTic will head to its third city in three seasons, this time in Dallas.