Esports Organizations in North Texas Play Big

Similar to oil and gas, Mark Cuban says esports has the potential to fuel the region. We rounded up the major drivers of the billion-dollar industry, from teams and developers to educators and startups to corporations and event venues.

North Texas’ biggest names in sports are investing not only in stadiums and teams, but also in technology and screens. The region is making a splash in the rising tide, with ESPN calling Dallas “second only to Los Angeles as the country’s capital of esports.”

Esports is a growing industry projected to reach $1.65 billion in market revenue by 2021. Even Mark Cuban agrees: “Literally, like oil and gas was a big industry for the region 50 years ago, 100 years ago, esports can be a fueling industry for this region.”

We rounded up some of the biggest drivers in the game, from teams and owners, to players and events, to educators and corporations. Esports has taken a hold of Dallas-Fort Worth, and we don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

OpTic GamingOpTic Gaming

Year founded: 2006
Headquarters: Frisco, TX
Number of esports division teams: 7
Esports Earnings estimate: $7.13M
Forbes rank of most valuable esports companies: 5th

Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez, co-founder & owner

In 2017, Neil Leibman, COO of MLB’s Texas Rangers, co-founded Infinite Esports & Entertainment, investing $33M in OpTic Gaming. This investment secured a slot in the first geographically based esports league, Activision’s Overwatch League where OpTic competes under the Houston Outlaws brand. OpTic maintains one of the largest and most loyal fan bases due to constant social media content.

compLexity GamingcompLexity Gaming

Year founded: 2003
Headquarters: Frisco, TX
Number of esports division teams: 9
Esports Earnings estimate: $3.1M
Forbes rank of most valuable esports companies: N/A

Jason “1” Lake, founder & CEO

In 2017, Jerry Jones, owner of NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and John Goff, CEO of Crescent Real Estate, invested $50M to become majority owners of compLexity Gaming. This investment included the construction of a state-of-the-art training facility at the Cowboys headquarters complex, The Star. CompLexity also recently secured the first-ever esports casino sponsor in partnership with Winstar World Casino.

Team EnvyTeam Envy

Year founded: 2007
Headquarters: Dallas, TX
Number of esports division teams: 8
Esports Earnings estimate: $5.89M
Forbes rank of most valuable esports companies: 10th

Mike “hastr0” Rufail, co-owner & CEO

In 2017, Ken Hersh, President and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and board member of MLB’s Texas Rangers, founded Hersh Interactive Group, investing $35M in Team Envy. This investment secured a slot in the first geographically based esports league, Activision’s Overwatch League where Envy competes under the Dallas Fuel brand. In 2018, former NHL Dallas Stars executive, Geoff Moore, became COO of Team Envy.

Mavs GamingMavs Gaming

Year founded: 2017
Headquarters: Dallas, TX
Number of esports division teams: 1
Esports Earnings estimate: N/A
Forbes rank of most valuable esports companies: N/A

Mark Cuban, owner

In 2017, Mark Cuban’s Mavs Gaming became one of 17 teams created to join the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League. Investment in the team included the build-out of a 20,000-square-foot esports facility in Deep Ellum that includes a private practice area, player’s lounge, locker rooms, offices, production studios, and esports stage. Mavs Gaming also secured the number one draft pick in the 2018 season.

Notable North Texas esports industry drivers

A version of this article was first published in Dallas Innovates 2019—The Magazine.

Updated March 6, 2019 at 5:51 p.m.: Neil Leibman is COO of MLB’s Texas Rangers.


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Dallas Innovates 2019—The Magazine explores the region as a rising tech hub that will shape the future of innovation. The theme of our second annual print publication, “A Breakout Moment,” explores why now is the time for the region to grab its place in the tech universe.

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