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Next year will see the return of two long-established esports brands to League of Legends: Immortals and Dignitas. The latter competed in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) as far back as 2011, but when the league introduced a permanent partnership model, Dignitas was one of several endemics that didn’t make the cut. Through a merger with Houston Rockets-owned Clutch Gaming, the beady-eyed owl logo has already made its way into Riot Games’ studio, and come 2020, it will make a full brand comeback.
“Getting back into the LCS has always been a top priority for us, ever since not making in the first round of franchising in 2017,” said James Baker, manager of business development for Dignitas, speaking on The Esports Observer podcast. Baker noted that the organization had been in constant communications with Riot Games on the steps they could take to be reinvited. “In Spring of this year, that opportunity came up with the Houston Rockets, and it seemed like a perfect fit for us.”
Even though Dignitas will take the reins of the squad, Baker emphasizes that the Rockets will still be involved. He also adds that while there were other opportunities to be found some Riot Games’ other global leagues, North American LCS was the top priority. “We’re a North American organization, and we have a very strong belief in North American esports.”
Dignitas was the first esports team organization to be acquired by a U.S. sports team; the Philadelphia 76ers. Now under the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HSBE) umbrella, the company has recently been building out its infrastructure—including a training facility and headquarters near the New Jersey Devils’ Prudential Center home.
Heather Garozoo, Dignitas’ VP of marketing, is based in Los Angeles, where the current Clutch Gaming roster competes. Also speaking on the podcast, she said that Dignitas immediately brought in staff after the merger had been agreed, and are now running operations for the team alongside existing Clutch Gaming staff.
“Our CEO, Michael Prindiville, is essentially in day to day talks with the teams,” she said. “We’ve already taken a number of steps to include Dignitas staff into Clutch, and from a marketing and content perspective, we have some really exciting plans over the next couple of months.”
“We know that a good majority of our followers across social are dormant League of Legends fans, and we are excited to engage them again.”
The TEO Podcast is available on both iTunes and Spotify.
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