In a recent interview with The Esports Observer, Immortals Gaming Club CEO Ari Segal stated that the OpTic brand can be applied to the franchised Call of Duty League (CDL) if the organization does not hold the trademark in any other game. This means the OpTic Gaming name can be used in the League if the organization doesn’t utilize the OpTic title in any other esport inclusively. OpTic Gaming currently own the Los Angeles franchise, but the trademark will have to be exclusive to the CDL.
Activision Blizzard is laying down the foundations of the CDL by using the Overwatch League, another popular shooter. The Overwatch League currently contains twenty teams, these include the Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Seoul Dynasty, etc. Each team has its own brand but the teams themselves are owned by organizations or companies. For example, London Spitfire is owned by North American organization Cloud9.
However, Ari Segal has claimed that this may not be the case for the Call of Duty League. Esports organizations would have to release all teams, to ensure its trademark is exclusive to the CDL. This is not the case for the vast majority of teams. To elaborate, OverActiveMedia is another confirmed team to the league, the parent company of Splyce, which own the Call of Duty Toronto Franchise. The team may not be able to use the Splyce name as this trademark is not exclusive to the Call of Duty League. Splyce have teams in League of Legends, Call of Duty, Rocket League, etc.
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OpTic Gaming have already taken a step in this direction. The organization is pending release of its CS:GO team due to an ownership clash with MIBR. In the upcoming Starladder Major 2019, Rule 10b regarding team ownership states that “The players and teams are required to affirm that they have no business entanglement (including, but not limited to, shared management, shared ownership of entities, licensing, and loans) with any other participating team or its players.” As OpTic Gaming and MIBR have the same parent company due to the Infinite Esports and Entertainment purchase by Immortals Gaming Club, only one team can participate.
Moreover, OpTic Gaming recently released its Gears of War team. Due to this, OpTic Gaming only owns a Call of Duty team, League of Legends team, and an Overwatch League team in the Houston Outlaws. In the press release regarding the acquisition of Infinite Esports and Entertainment, Immortals Gaming Club stated that OpTic League of Legends will be re-branded to Immortals in 2020, and the Houston Outlaws will be sold pending release. Therefore, OpTic will be left with just the Call of Duty team.
The Esports Observer did not receive a comment at this time. Upcomer has also requested a comment, but we have not received a response as of yet.