With an influx of new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments and leagues just around the corner, popular Call of Duty organizations are buying into the rival industry in hopes to market their brands to a wider audience.
Two weeks ago, major North American Call of Duty competitor OpTic Gaming acquired North American Counter-Strike squad ex-Conquest. And now OpTic’s historic rival, FaZe Clan, has purchased premier European Counter-Strike squad G2 Esports today, confirming speculation of the move that had circulated the scene during the past few days. The amount spent on the organization transfer for the team was not specified.
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) January 20, 2016
Rumors of the squad's move to FaZe began after the team’s rifler Mikail "Maikelele" Bill told European esports news publication Aftonbladet that the team had spoken with FaZe about finding a new home. Following the speculation, veteran esports journalist Richard Lewis confirmed that the deal was legitimate:
Yeah, the G2 to FaZe deal is genuine. Had been respectfully sitting on it as both organisations had stuff to finalise that was delicate,
— Richard Lewis (@RLewisReports) January 20, 2016
Over the past few months—during their time with G2 Esports—the team has risen the rankings as a top-four Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad in the world. Prior to joining G2 Esports, the team was under the Kinguin brand and also had strong performances in international and domestic showings, but none quite like their recent performances at DreamHack Cluj-Napoca and Intel Extreme Masters San Jose, where the squad took third-fourth.
The recent team grab by major esports organizations—like OpTic and FaZe—is likely prompted by the influx of Counter-Strike tournaments being organized in 2016. Major League Gaming is launching its first North American Counter-Strike major, while Turner Broadcasting and WME|IMG are running a televised league, ELeague, in the summer.
While FaZe will compete at several minor tournaments along the way, the next big tournament the team is guaranteed to be competing at is Major League Gaming’s North American major March 29-April 3. Here they will face the likes other top teams, such as Team EnVyUS, Fnatic, Astralis, Virtus.Pro, and Luminosity Gaming.