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Volume 26 No. 85
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OverActive Media Acquires Delaware North-Backed Team Splyce

OverActive Media, the investment group behind the Toronto Defiant expansion team in Overwatch League, has acquired Splyce, the New York-based esports team previously backed in part by Delaware North. The deal now puts both the Defiant and Splyce’s new spot in Riot Games’ League of Legends European Championships under control of OverActive, making it one of just five companies to own permanent spots in both the OWL and LoL. Splyce and OverActive were already close business partners. OverActive led a $2.6M investment round in Splyce when it was still known as the Ledger Group, joining fellow investors First Serve Partners, Metta World Peace, Roman Harper and agent David Meltzer. Also, Splyce was on board with the Defiant as a 10% owner of the OWL franchise and operator of the team. The deal means Delaware North, which did have a large minority stake in Splyce, has exited its position in esports. Splyce Founder & CEO Marty Strenczewilk will remain on as Dir of Team Operations, overseeing the management of players, coaches and competitions for every team in the OverActive portfolio. Meanwhile, OverActive will continue to build out its nascent commercial organization. “We really aspire to build the Maple Leaf Sports and the Madison Square Garden of esports,” said OverActive President Chris Overholt. “We have a business model of exactly that."

COINCIDENTAL TIMING: The deal was finalized the day Splyce surprisingly was awarded one of the new permanent spots in the EU LoL circuit, but the acquisition was not tied to that process, Overholt said. “We actually already had a plan in place to acquire Splyce and make them part of the family. And the other opportunity kind of showed up in the process." Nevertheless, the EU franchise spot from Riot was a late curveball that required all the principles to work over the weekend to tweak the deal to reflect Splyce’s new asset. Terms were not disclosed, but the OWL and EU LoL spots required a combined $44.2M in fees. Strenczewilk declined to comment. 

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.