Dallas Has a Brand New Pro Esports Team (and it’s Owned by Envy Gaming)

Envy Gaming's latest esports team will focus on the popular video game franchise Call of Duty.

Dallas is now one of 12 cities to participate in the global Call of Duty League. The new team—Dallas Empire—will compete in its inaugural season in 2020.

“Dallas is one of the greatest sports cities in the world. And it’s where we’re building our empire,” Envy Gaming owner and CEO Mark Rufail says.

The primary colors of the Dallas Empire are black and gold, with blue as its secondary color. 

Rufail, who grew up in Texas, came up with the team’s name based on the lyrics, “O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest”—that’s a line from the Texas state song. The name is also meant to evoke entrepreneurialism, something that Dallas is no stranger to.

But what is Esports Insider’s take on the reveal? “We thought the name of the franchise was the best when they were all leaked, but we needed to see the entire branding before casting judgement. It’s overall pretty damn cool and the thought behind it suits Envy as an organization rather well.”

Dallas Empire’s team will include Ian “Crimsix” Porter, James “Clayster” Eubanks, Cuyler “Huke” Garland, Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro, and Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal. The team is expected to move into a new training facility located next to the American Airlines Center by the end of the year, according to WFAA.

Esports fans who can’t wait for the 2020 season can meet players from the team during a Call of Duty takeover on Thursday, Oct. 24 (7 p.m.) at the GameStop located at 2201 Preston Road in Plano. Dallas Empire plans to host two weekend series of Call of Duty competitions in DFW next year, according to a statement.

This isn’t Envy Gaming’s first foray into Dallas gaming—the global esports organization is based here and also owns Overwatch League team Dallas Fuel, which hosted a two-day sold out esports event at the Allen Event Center earlier this year. 

The scope of the North Texas gaming scene

To say esports in North Texas is big is an understatement. Global festival DreamHack hosted its largest U.S. event yet last summer in Dallas with over 40 esports organizations represented and an estimated more than 35,000 visitors.

Some North Texas school districts and universities already have esports in place and the University Interscholastic League of Texas even accepted a request to study a proposal that could make esports a UIL-sanctioned activity

Even traditional Dallas sports owners have gotten into the esports space with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones owning CompLexity Gaming and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban owning Mavs Gaming.

With Team Envy adding another team to its roster, it’s hard to imagine that the Dallas-Fort Worth esports industry will be slowing down any time soon. 

Lauren Hawkins and Quincy Preston contributed to this report. 

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