Immortals Gaming Club has sold the Houston Outlaws, according to sources reporting to ESPN.
Lee Zieben, owner of the Zieben Group real estate development company in Houston, has agreed to purchase the team for a total of $40 million, according to sources. This includes $30 million in cash and securities, as well as Zieben assuming the $10 million debt still owed to the Overwatch League for the Outlaws’ franchise slot.
IGC acquired the team in June as part of their purchase of Infinite Esports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Outlaws and OpTic Gaming, from Texas Esports and Aurelius Esports for $35-45 million. IGC will retain ownership of OpTic Gaming, including their LCS franchise team. However, Overwatch League regulations prohibit an entity from owning equity in two separate OWL teams. The League gave IGC a 180-day window in which to resell the Outlaws to another owner. IGC and Zieben will finalize the sale in late August, according to sources.
Effects on 2020
While the deal comes too late to make material changes to the Outlaws’ 2019 season, it bodes well for 2020. The instability has hindered team development, with the team operating on a shoestring budget until a buyer was found. Zieben’s investment will likely allow the team to make necessary changes over the off-season. His deep roots in the Houston area could also be an asset as the team makes localization plans. And a stable future will likely take a weight off both players’ and fans’ shoulders.
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