ICON ESPORTS (“ICON”) announces the acquisition of premier esports organisation The Chiefs Esports Club (the “Chiefs Acquisition”). The Chiefs Acquisition allows ICON to combine the resources and expertise of two leading esports organisations within the region. ICON will continue to build on the initiatives and legacy of the Chiefs to support the development of local esports players and a focus on making an impact on the global stage.
Following this announcement, all current esports teams will compete under the Chiefs’ and strive to deliver the performance deserving of the Chiefs’ passionate fan base. This means that the ‘Team ICON’ esports team will be dissolved, and ICON will remain the parent company of The Chiefs. The ICON Rocket League team will compete under The Chiefs’ banner in the upcoming Dreamhack Valencia Pro Circuit Tour competition and for the foreseeable future.
The Chiefs as a brand will remain completely untouched and unchanged, and continue operating as the premiere Oceanic esports club with support and enhancement from the ICON Creative team. The Chiefs will be competing in the following esports titles:
- League of Legends (OPL & OCS)
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
- Rocket League
ICON has launched an esport ecosystem development program (“Ecosystem Development Program”) which is designed to not only service and support the existing loyal fans of the Chiefs and ICON but also seek to expand the esports ecosystem across the region. The Ecosystem Development Program will result in ICON playing a more active role within the broader community as it strives to take esports to the mainstream. The first phase of the Ecosystem Development Program will be announced in July 2019 and will include a number of esports and gaming activations across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Commenting on the Chiefs Acquisition and the Ecosystem Development Program, Nick Bobir, CEO of ICON had this to say.
“We are excited to commence the next chapter of our involvement in the esports market here within Oceania and more importantly with the Chiefs. Over the last few months we have made strides to develop new business lines which give back to the fans, grassroots and help promote the local landscape to new audiences. As a business, it's important to diversify and strategise for the future and we can’t wait to share the activation announcements in July.”
We will be bringing in several new key, full-time management staff across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to support the growth of both The Chiefs and ICON, through driving and ensuring the teams reach their maximum potential and bringing innovative activations and events to the community.
The ICON management structure will be as follows:
- Nick Bobir – Director and CEO of ICON
- Frank Li – Director of ICON & CEO of The Chiefs Esports Club
- Michael Stewart - Operations Manager of ICON & The Chiefs Esports Club
- Joshua Harvey - Chief Marketing Officer of ICON & The Chiefs Esports Club
The new ownership group features members with several different backgrounds but all with great experience in developing young businesses as well as expertise in the sports industry. Utilising their expertise, ICON and The Chiefs will look to amplify and level up everything we do best currently and broaden our reach to expand gaming and esports across a wider audience.
- Adrian Whittingham - Executive Director, Pinnacle Investment Management
- Nathan Taylor - Managing Director for Capital Markets at Commonwealth Bank
- Ed Abbott - CEO of QMS Sport
- Matthew Davey - Founder & CEO of Ticketdirect
Commenting on the Chiefs acquisition was Adrian Whittingham, part of the new ownership group:
“The Chiefs are recognised as one of the pre-eminent esports organisations in the region and have an enviable track record of success. Frank has done an excellent job as founder of the Chiefs, working with talented and passionate athletes, winning multiple titles and building a strong and very loyal support base. We look forward to continuing this success and having Frank work with Nick and the team in the other business initiatives at ICON.”
Frank Li, founder of The Chiefs Esports Club, shared his thoughts on the acquisition and future moving forward.
“The esports and gaming industry is rapidly growing and fast moving, and it was vital that we found the right partner to help us match the growth along the way and amplify everything we do to the best of our abilities. ICON had the perfect match of first hand experience in the space as well as expertise from outside of the industry that is necessary to take us in the right direction. A strong vision for the future was very important to me in choosing the right party and I believe we have found it in ICON.”
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About ICON Esports
ICON Esports was founded in early 2019 by a group of private investors from a range of backgrounds such as traditional sports ownership, sports marketing, finance and investments. The group of owners are passionate about the industry and are looking to combine their expertise to drive the domestic ecosystem to the global spotlight. ICON Esports is now the parent company of the largest esports organisation in the region and is developing other business opportunities to further support the esports ecosystem.
About The Chiefs Esports Club
Founded in 2014, the Chiefs Esports Club is the premiere esports organisation in Australia, featuring top teams in various competitive esport titles. The Chiefs are built on values fundamental to the growth and development of local esports talent. Since its inception, The Chiefs have achieved excellence across many esports titles and categories including 4 OPL Championships and 3 IEM Sydney appearances, focusing on consistent strong performances and maintaining dominance over the Oceanic region. Notable achievements include:
- 4x Oceanic Pro League (LoL) Champions, and 3x Runners Up
- IEM Sydney (CSGO) 3x Oceanic Representatives
- ESL AU&NZ (CSGO) Season 6 and Season 7 Champions
- RLCS World Championships (Rocket League) 3x Oceanic Representatives, 4th place finish in Season 6
- PUBG Global Invitational 2018 Oceanic Representatives
- 2x Fortnite World Cup 2019 Qualified Players