The Splyce brand has been a key contributor in esports for years. They’re based in New York and have teams competing in all branches of esports from Call of Duty and Overwatch to League of Legends and Starcraft 2. They’ll also be shut down by their parent company OverActive Media come December, according to Richard Lewis.
A report of Splyce performing massive employee layoffs came earlier in the week, leaving many speculating as to why. It is believed that OverActive is shutting down the Splyce brand due to the higher costs of having a US-based company. OverActive has announced a restructuring to move its assets to Canada.
This announcement comes after it secured the Call of Duty Toronto franchised position. They soon after confirmed the report of mass layoffs in New York, but they did not confirm the future of the Splyce brand. For the LEC, the team will be receiving a rebranding. Starting in the Spring 2020 Season the Splyce franchise League of Legends team will go under the name MAD Lions.
Out with the Old in with the New
The new team name comes from a Spanish League of Legends team that OverActive recently acquired. With Optic Gaming becoming Immortals and Clutch Gaming becoming Dignitas, Splyce’s rebrand adds another team that has undergone name changes in the NA and EU Leagues.
Unlike the previous teams, Splyce is re-branding to downsize its expenses. Optic Gaming and Clutch Gaming were purchased by their new respective companies, while Splyce remains owned by the same company.
The current belief of why this re-brand is different comes down to the size of the historic brand. The same popularity that has led the team to expand to more and more titles over the years has also increased the operating costs.
Employees and experts speculate that OverActive seeks to reduce costs in its franchised leagues—Overwatch, League of Legends and Call of Duty—by reducing the teams it supports. Since the Splyce brand has so many teams under it, OverActive removes the operating expenses of any unfranchised team as well as any management costs that they caused by dissolving the brand.
Possible Growing Pains
The Splyce brand has been a key part in the development of esports. Competing since 2015, the organization has gained an army of loyal fans along the way.
Unfortunately, more and more historic brands like Splyce are being lost to time as more esports companies are bought by corporations. This development is a result of esports becoming bigger and more legitimate as a sport. Only time will tell if major brands like this will be honored in the future or left in the past.
Written by Jimmy Bellinghausen