Report: OpTic Chicago in talks to merge with Dallas Empire and sell CDL spot
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According to a new report from Dot Esports, the OpTic brand could move cities for the third season in a row. The report claims that talks of a merger are heating up between OpTic and the Dallas Empire. In turn, OpTic is apparently putting the Chicago spot in the CDL up for sale.

The new team, if this deal comes to pass, would be named OpTic Dallas. The four remaining players on the Dallas and Chicago rosters, after both teams dropped two players in the past day, would make up the new roster. This roster would include Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal, Seth “Scump” Abner and Brandon “Dashy” Otell.

The basis for this proposed merger between the two organizations is OpTic owner Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez wishing to get out from the NRG umbrella. He has reportedly worked on leaving his NRG teammates for nearly a year. In May of 2021, Dexerto reported that H3CZ was looking for other organizations to merge with OpTic and essentially buy NRG out from the Chicago CDL spot.

During this process, H3CZ attempted to find potential investors and even supposedly cut a deal with the CDL to try and fund the costs of running OpTic Chicago without the help of NRG. The team owner wasn’t able to do so in the allotted time the deal specified, so NRG re-entered the picture and continued to fund Chicago. H3CZ still seems interested in moving away from NRG, though, leading to Dallas Empire stepping in.

Dallas is owned and operated by Envy and its CEO, Mike “Hastr0” Rufail. If the proposed merger between OpTic and Dallas goes through, Hastr0 and H3CZ would work alongside one another running OpTic Dallas. The Empire brand would cease to exist, as OpTic holds more weight in the Call of Duty community. Both Envy and OpTic are based in Dallas, Texas, adding more fuel to the report.

This leaves the Chicago spot in the CDL up for sale and means the OpTic brand moves for the third time in as many years. In 2019, they were based in Los Angeles, with H3CZ and company joining NRG to form the Chicago Huntsmen. The tables turned in 2020 when H3CZ reacquired OpTic from Immortals and created OpTic Chicago in conjunction with NRG.

The merger has not been made official by the parties involved but the report says the deal is moving toward a resolution.

Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 7+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.