OpTic Gaming Officially Merges With Envy Gaming, Uniting Esports Pioneers Mike “Hastr0” Rufail and Hector “HECZ” Rodriguez


Call of Duty League Team Will Carry OpTic Texas Brand Into 2022 Season

HECZ Joins Ownership Group and Will Serve as President of OpTic Gaming

The GREENWALL have a new hometown team: OpTic Texas. Envy Gaming, a Texas-based esports and entertainment company, and OpTic Gaming announced the two organizations have completed a merger to unite the business and expand operations.

The Texas-based Call of Duty League™ franchise position previously held as the Dallas Empire will be rebranded to OpTic Texas for the 2022 Call of Duty League season. OpTic Texas will return head coach Ray Lussier and feature a starting roster including:

●                   Seth “Scump” Abner

●                   Brandon “Dashy” Otell

●                   Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal

●                   Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro

For Mike “Hastr0” Rufail, co-owner and chief gaming officer of Envy, the merger unites two storied organizations and long-time friends and rivals to build on decades of experience innovating and creating dominant esports and entertainment brands.

Through the transaction, OpTic Gaming leader Hector “HECZ” Rodriguez joins the combined companies’ ownership group and will serve as President of OpTic Gaming. Rodriguez will continue to operate OpTic Gaming, leading content, competitive operations, and vision for the OpTic brand. All OpTic employees and creators are continuing with OpTic through the merger.

Envy plans to retain its 21,000-square-foot headquarters and training facility in Dallas’ Victory Park and operate its rapidly growing content creator network of gaming and lifestyle personalities and owned and operated competitive esports teams including the Dallas Fuel in the Overwatch League, as well as participation in Microsoft’s Halo Championship Series, Psyonix’s Rocket League Championship Series, and Riot Games’ Valorant.

Together, the company leaders plan to grow the OpTic and Envy brands into other esports and media ventures, sales and marketing collaborations, content creation, and live events.


“There’s nothing I want more than having the freedom as a creator to create. It’s a comfort-level of trust in Mike [Rufail] and the investment group he’s put together that has been there for years and that I know from personal experience. Finding people you trust, and you want to build with is the most important thing for the future of OpTic.” – Hector Rodriquez

“It’s still somewhat surreal. Organizations are going to have to attract more eyeballs and operate a business that can scale. We’re strengthening the future of what esports will be ten years from now with the decisions we are making today. For us, this deal means we can accomplish our goals faster. Life is too short not to do this.” – Mike Rufail

“We are building the beginning moments of the new age of sports. We are inventing every day.” – Hector Rodriguez

“We’ve competed against each other since 2008, and I have a ton of respect for Hector and what he’s built. We genuinely care about each other. We are going to be much stronger together than apart.” – Mike Rufail

“I love Dallas, Seth loves Dallas, everyone in OpTic loves being in Texas. This is the best thing for OpTic. Period.” – Hector Rodriguez


Why call the new team OpTic Texas instead of OpTic Dallas?

Through the merger, Envy/OpTic acquired the rights to expand their marketing territory for the Call of Duty League to encompass more areas of Texas, including Austin. The organization plans to bring OpTic Texas to as many fans as possible across its home state.

What is the status of OpTic Chicago and Dallas Empire players?

Shotzzy and Illey have been re-signed and join Scump and Dashy on the 2022 roster for OpTic Texas. Ray Lussier will return as head coach. Previous reports announcing OpTic player FormaL retiring, and former OpTic player Envoy entering unrestricted free agency are accurate. Former Dallas Empire players Crimsix and Vivid signed with other Call of Duty League teams.

What happens to the Dallas Empire brand?

The Dallas Empire brand will be retired from Call of Duty League competition. The Texas-based franchise slot in the Call of Duty League will be rebranded OpTic Texas.

Who is the ownership group of the combined company?

The ownership group includes Gray Television, Ken Hersh and Hersh Interactive Group, Mike Rufail, Hector Rodriguez, superstar Post Malone as well as prominent local and national investors and professional poker player Fedor Holz.

Why announce now?

OpTic and Envy have a long history of being the most successful and popular organizations involved in Call of Duty esports and content. Announcing the merger of these two great brands opens up new abilities for creators and professional esports players to expand their reach as the latest Call of Duty: Vanguard title and new Warzone map are rolling out. Ultimately, the timing was an opportunity to do something truly special for the GREENWALL and all Call of Duty fans.

What happens to the Chicago Call of Duty League spot?

Through the merger, Envy/OpTic acquired the Chicago team slot. That team slot will be sold, with viable interest in the slot at this time. Envy/OpTic will retain the OpTic Texas team slot.

What’s the history of the OpTic Gaming brand being bought and sold?

OpTic Gaming was founded in 2006. In 2007, Hector Rodriguez took over operations of the organization. OpTic grew to become one of the most successful competitive esports teams of the last decade and a content creation powerhouse. In 2017, the majority interest in OpTic was purchased by Infinite Esports & Entertainment, an esports holding company. In 2019, Immortals Gaming Club acquired Infinite Esports & Entertainment. In 2020, Hector Rodriguez purchased the OpTic Gaming brand from Immortals. In 2021, OpTic Gaming and Envy Gaming completed a merger.

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