As noted in several reports this year by The Esports Advocate, Berlin-based esports organization G2 Esports is taking over what remains of the assets of Minnesota-based esports organization Version1 and its Call of Duty League franchise, Minnesota ROKKR. On Nov. 20, we reported that G2 would finalize the deal it had been negotiating for months with Version1 at the beginning of December.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed publicly.
The Esports Advocate first began reporting on the situation at Version1 in April, when CEO Brett Diamond told Digiday that the company was open to an acquisition or a merger (you can read our exhaustive coverage on Version1’s situation here).
In its announcement, Version1 said that its ownership group has entered into a strategic partnership with G2 Esports whereby they become shareholders in the company and G2 receives the operating rights to the Call of Duty League franchise, the Minnesota Røkkr.
That ownership group includes WISE Ventures, the investment arm of the Wilf family, owners of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and MLS and NWSL teams Orlando City SC and Pride; and entrepreneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk.
The partnership is part of G2 Esports’ continued expansion into North America, which also includes the recent acquisition of The Guard’s Valorant roster (and a way to enter into the VCT Americas league) as well as its previous pickup of players from Version1’s Rocket League team.
With this new acquisition, G2 Esports now operates rosters in eight major esports titles including League of Legends, Valorant, Counter Strike 2, Rainbow Six: Siege, Rocket League, Wild Rift, Sim Racing and Call of Duty.
Interestingly, Version1 as a company and a brand will be “put on hold,” according to the announcement, though for all intents and purposes, with the entirety of its staff laid off in North America, the organization is effectively closed.
It is apropos to close this report with some words from CEO Brett Diamond, who was praised by every source we spoke to about Version1 this year as a great leader and wonderful human being. As one source told me: “Esports is better for having Brett Diamond in it.” Here is what Diamond said about the announcement on X/Twitter:
All my love to every staff, player, coach, family member and fan that’s been on this journey with us 💜
G2 is the right org to carry this legacy forward 🤝 https://t.co/dRWTgjLGKU
— Brett Diamond (@Diamond_Sota) December 5, 2023