HBSE officially acquires Clutch Gaming

Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE), the parent company of Dignitas, has officially acquired League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) franchise Clutch Gaming.

Confirmed on June 6th, Clutch Gaming is set to be rebranded as Dignitas in Riot Games‘ North American competition from 2020. Until then, Dignitas will operate the Clutch Gaming franchise.

Clutch Gaming Acquired
Photo credit: Riot Games

The notion of HBSE acquiring the majority stake in Clutch Gaming first came from a report in April. At the time, it was reported that HBSE had agreed in principle to acquire the franchise from current owner, Clutch Gaming, for a total of $20 million (£15.3 million). 

Michael Prindiville, CEO of Dignitas commented: “I am filled gratitude following today’s official announcement that Dignitas and Clutch gaming will merge, and that esports fans will see a Dignitas banner waving again in an LCS arena. From our HBSE family and the Houston Rockets, to the forward-thinking team at Riot Games, the hardworking staff at Dignitas and Clutch Gaming – so many people have put forth countless hours and delivered incredible support to put these two organizations in this position to build something special. This is only the beginning; now the real work and execution begins. This is the most exciting story in esports and we are grateful to be telling it.”

Mal País, a new entity that has been formed, houses both Clutch Gaming and Dignitas, and is supposedly valued at $47.5 million (£36.3 million). Prindiville will lead the entity, with David Abrams, Head of Investments and Strategy for Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment leading the board.

Dignitas rebranded from its former identity, Team Dignitas, in October last year – ditching its well-known logo to start afresh.

Esports Insider says: This is the first instance of an LCS franchise being bought out by another company, and even then, the rebranding will come later. Considering each of the 10 owners were chosen with long-term partnerships in mind, it’s interesting to see this happen so early into the franchised system’s implementation.