Washington Justice ownership group no longer pursuing Chicago Call of Duty League slot

Washington Esports Ventures has backed out of discussions to buy the slot.

Photo via Call of Duty League

Washington Esports Ventures, the parent company of the Overwatch League team Washington Justice, has pulled out of discussions to acquire the Call of Duty League slot owned by NRG Esports, as first reported by Twitter user @Unscriipted and confirmed by Dot Esports’ Jacob Wolf.

Washington had been negotiating a deal that would have seen the organization acquire one of the 12 CDL slots and relocate the Chicago franchise to Washington, D.C. Unscriipted reported that the CDL is already looking for a replacement. Dot Esports’ Jacob Wolf reported in September that Washington Esports Ventures was one of two “serious parties” negotiating with NRG about the Chicago slot.

NRG has owned the Chicago CDL slot since the inception of the league, with the franchise going by the name Chicago Huntsmen during the inaugural season. During last offseason, NRG acquired the OpTic brand one of the Los Angeles franchises were using and promptly rebranded as OpTic Chicago. The OpTic brand may be on the move again, as Dot Esports reported in August that the Dallas Empire was in talks to acquire the brand and rename the Dallas franchise.

Players rumored to join the Washington roster seemed to hint earlier today that something had changed. PaulEhx, who played for the London Royal Ravens during the 2021 CDL season and was a part of the rumored Washington lineup, tweeted today that he was “still a free agent for next year.”

Vivid, who finished the 2021 season with the Dallas Empire after being traded by the Los Angeles Guerrillas, is reportedly signing with the Florida Mutineers, according to Unscriipted. Dot Esports’ Cory “CRONE” Davis tweeted that Florida was targeting Vivid for its 2022 roster, which already includes five players.