According to a new report from Jacob Wolf at Dot Esports, the Overwatch League’s Washington Justice are in negotiations to acquire the Chicago Call of Duty League (CDL) spot. The report states that the team’s ownership group, Washington Esports Ventures, are one of two interested parties. The group is negotiating with NRG Esports, who holds the spot in conjunction with OpTic Gaming and OpTic Chicago.
NRG owns the brands, but reports surfaced that OpTic owner Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez is planning to divest from NRG and merge OpTic Chicago with the Dallas Empire last month.
This isn’t the first time that Justice ownership have been mentioned as candidates for Call of Duty League expansion. Reports from earlier in 2021 indicate that Justice owner Mark Ein was in the running for a spot in February. It’s not clear whether league expansion is still on the table as the number of teams in the CDL would remain the same.
Washington Justice looking to acquire the Chicago CDL spot
At of the time of this report, the Justice and NRG have not signed a deal. However, according to sources, the deal is expected to progress and result in Washington purchasing the Chicago spot. If this happens, Washington will relocate the team to D.C., where the Justice are currently located.
Washington’s ownership group will also rebrand the spot, given that the OpTic brand could be heading to Dallas with H3CZ. Assuming the deal goes through, a rebrand will be decided on by the time the 2022 CDL season rolls around.
Around this time last year, it was announced that OpTic CEO H3CZ bought back the brand after it was sold to Immortals in 2018. This happened with the help of NRG and its CEO Andy Miller, who brought on H3CZ to manage NRG’s Chicago CDL spot in 2019.
During this time, it was reported that H3CZ no longer wanted to be a part of NRG. After a period of trying to fund OpTic Chicago without the help of NRG, H3CZ supposedly worked out a deal with Andy Miller to facilitate a merger between OpTic and Dallas Empire. The merger also involves moving the OpTic brand out from underneath NRG’s umbrella. That deal has still yet to be officially confirmed, though.