Fans of the North American LCS were shocked two years ago when Immortals, one of the hottest new teams, were left out of the franchising process. But now history may be changing as the Immortals are reportedly working on a way back into the LCS.
According to a report from ESPN Esports’ Jacob Wolf, Immortals is one of the bidders in the planned sale of Infinite Sports and Entertainment, which owns OpTic Gaming. OpTic has teams that compete in the LCS and OWL, as well as in CoD and CS:GO. Given OWL’s ownership rules, Immortals would not be allowed to operate OpTic’s Houston Outlaws OWL team since Immortals already owns the Los Angeles Valiant.
Perhaps in preparation for its bid, Immortals announced earlier in the day that it had closed a $30 million Series B funding round. Investors in the round comprise of several current investors, as well new investors including John Griffin and March Capital Partners, among others. Immortals is also officially renaming to Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) and its founder, Noah Whinston, will reportedly step down from his managerial role.
As part of that transaction, Immortals acquired Gamers Club, a Brazilian matchmaking platform. Immortals previously operated a Brazilian CS:GO team and is familiar with the South American gaming market.
“We believe in IGC’s differentiated strategy of diversifying its portfolio of assets beyond core esports operations,” said Meg Whitman, a member of the IGC board of directors. “Winning in esports and gaming requires commitment and patience, and we are focused on building long term sustainable value.”
It is unclear what role Riot Games could play in the sale of OpTic and allowing Immortals back into the league. Two years ago, Riot rejected Immortals from the LCS based on concerns over the company’s financial obligations and liquidity runway. It’s common in many sports leagues for the league office to approve team transactions.
Immortals’ $30 million Series B round is much smaller than the $150 million price tag Infinite has placed on all of its operations. The company could be required to raise additional capital to fund that transaction and assuage any concerns from Riot