Immortals Gaming Club (IGC) has announced the sale of the Overwatch League franchise, Houston Outlaws, to the Beasley Media Group. IGC acquired the Houston Outlaws franchise when they bought all the assets of Infinite Esports & Entertainment in June 2019 for $100 million.
IGC is already an investor in the Overwatch League as they own the Los Angeles Valiant team. As per Overwatch League rules, no company can own two teams, and IGC had to sell the Houston Outlaws to avoid this conflict of interest.
Infinite Esports and Entertainment originally paid $20 million in 2018 to join the Overwatch League. As per estimates, the Beasley Media Group bought the Houston Outlaws for $35 million.
As ongoing owners in the Overwatch League through our Los Angeles Valiant franchise, we are thrilled to welcome Beasley Media Group to the Overwatch League. […] They have exciting plans to deepen the already strong connection between the Outlaws and the local Houston market and represent the ideal strategic owner for this asset.
Ari Segal, CEO of IGC.
Why did Immortals sell the Outlaws?
The Immortals group owns the Los Angeles Valiant in the Overwatch League. The League rules forbid companies from owning two teams in the Overwatch League.
Houston-based real estate investor Lee Zieben had agreed to the in-principle purchase of the Outlaws for $40 million, ESPN reported in July. Zeiben also wanted to purchase a Call of Duty slot and acquire eUnited, according to EsportsObserver. However, the deal fell through due to unknown reasons.
Who are the new owners?
The Beasley Media Group, a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, bought the Houston Outlaws from Immortals Gaming Club. Beasley Broadcast Group owns 47 FM radio stations and 18 AM radio stations in the United States.
This is not the Beasley Media Group’s first entry in esports as they invested $4.5 million for a 43% stake in Renegades, an esports organization with teams in five different titles. Beasley also owns a weekly syndicated esports lifestyle show, CheckpointXP, that they acquired in the Fall of 2018.
CheckpointXP programming is currently featured on approximately 70 radio stations across the United States on the Sun Broadcast Network; on daily podcasts on Amazon’s video game streaming platform, Twitch.
The acquisition of the Houston Outlaws significantly expands our growing esports platform. The Houston Outlaws represent a rare investment opportunity, as there are only 20 Overwatch League teams in the world, and the transaction partners Beasley with Blizzard Entertainment.
Caroline Beasley, CEO.
The Overwatch League is moving to a Homestead Model for Season 3. Each team will host a minimum of two weekends of matches at their home venue. The Outlaws’ first Season 3 Home games will take place at the Revention Music Center on Feb 29. This will include the home team’s match against the London Spitfire.
The Houston Outlaws have a fantastic new ownership team and we’re excited to welcome the Beasley Media Group to the Overwatch League. We look forward to working with them and ensuring a smooth transition for the team, the players, and the fans. Outlaws fans are incredibly passionate and 2020 is going to be an exciting year for the entire league.
Pete Vlastelica, President & CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports / Overwatch League Commissioner.
Houston Outlaws finished 16th out of 20 teams in the Overwatch League this year and could not make it to the League playoffs.
Written by Rohan Samal