Esports organisation Version1 seeking merger

Image: Gen.G

North American esports organisation Version1 is hoping to merge with, or be acquired by, a fellow esports organisation, according to an interview with its COO Brett Diamond in Digiday.

Diamond states that despite “meeting financial projections every year the organisation has existed”, the team’s leadership believes that strengthening V1’s financial resilience would pay off in the long term amid a period of esports consolidation.

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Version1 currently operates three esports divisions: Call of Duty League franchise Minnesota ROKKR, Rocket League pro and academy teams, and a female VALORANT roster. The organisation is jointly owned by the Wilf family and New York city-based investors WISE Ventures.

According to the interview, other options for Version1’s future include taking on further investment, which would be tough in a challenging fundraising environment, or looking for ways to pivot the business into another business area that could help shore up finances in the longer term.

Speaking to Fox9, Diamond commented that the CDL’s Call of Duty franchise would be particularly attractive to a potential acquirer. “We’ve had productive conversations with a number of different esports organisations,” said Diamond. “None of them are currently in Call of Duty.”

A potential sales process would ideally include current owners the Wilf family in some capacity but other “strategic alternatives” are also being explored. Layoffs will be a key concern for current ownership as newly-merged organisations often undergo a process of cost-cutting to ensure fiscal sustainability.

Version1 are the second team to see rumours of a potential acquisition in as many weeks. Counter Logic Gaming was officially acquired by fellow esports organisation NRG on
Thursday last week. The deal was accompanied by mass layoffs across the company including CEO Greg Kim although the League of Legends team was retained, along with its support staff, pending a planned re-brand.

Patrick Walker
Patrick is a freelance writer for ESI based in London, reporting on esports marketing and partnerships trends. He's currently playing VALORANT and Overwatch but always looking for the next big thing in competitive gaming.