Sources: Ein group likely to buy Call of Duty League slot from NRG Esports

By Kevin Hitt

The Call of Duty League franchise slot held by NRG Esports is to be sold soon, with Mark Ein’s Washington Esports Ventures as the likely buyer, sources with knowledge of the transaction told SBJ. The deal also is likely to be similar in cost to the 100 Thieves entry into the CDL which is approximately $27-30M. Dot Esports reported a similar story on Friday, but claimed that NRG is in talks with at least two parties. If the deal closes, the franchise slot will move from Chicago and will be based in the DC area while being renamed, as NRG and Envy Gaming are still in negotiations as it relates to acquiring the OpTic CDL franchise name. Ein, who owns the World TeamTennis Washington Kastles, is no stranger to franchised esports; he formed Washington Esports Ventures in '19 to purchase a franchise slot in the Overwatch League and formed the Washington Justice. 

QUESTIONS REMAIN: While this would put an end to the question of where the NRG CDL slot would end up, the league is still in flux as it relates to OpTic Chicago. As reported by SBJ, Hector Rodriguez and NRG Esports Co-Founder & CEO Andy Miller have split, with Rodriguez said to be in negotiations with Envy Gaming to partner for a new venture. According to reports, Rodriguez would join the organization to lead the Dallas CDL franchise, which would be rebranded as OpTic. The reason for delay, according to sources, is that when Rodriguez joined NRG as its Co-CEO, he allegedly signed a non-compete clause as a part of the partnership. Additionally, Rodriguez needs to negotiate the sale of the CDL OpTic name which NRG owns. When those two hurdles have been cleared, the OpTic brand is likely headed to Envy Gaming and the CDL with Rodriguez in charge of the franchise.

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