The Houston Outlaws esports team might soon be owned by local real estate investor Lee Zieben.
Sources familiar with the deal told ESPN that there’s a binding letter of intent between Zieben and Outlaws owner Immortals Gaming Club. The deal is expected to close in late August, with Zieben paying $30 million in cash and securities and assuming the $10 million debt owed to the Overwatch League for the Houston Outlaws franchise slot.
Lee Zieben is the son of Herbert Zieben — one of Houston’s leading homebuilders during the 1970s — and started developing gated patio and custom luxury homes in 2005. But after nearly a decade of building high-end homes, the younger Zieben forged his own path and founded Zieben Group, a multifamily developer specializing in affordable and mixed-income apartments. Click here to read a 2017 interview with Lee Zieben.
Zieben’s office and the Overwatch League did not respond to ESPN’s request for comment, and Los Angeles-based Immortals declined to comment.
A sale of the Houston team had been planned since June, when Immortals bought Frisco, Texas-based Infinite Esports & Entertainment, the parent company of OpTic Gaming and the Outlaws. Immortals was required to sell the Outlaws because it also owns the Los Angeles Valiant, another team in the Overwatch League, per ESPN.
“On an interim basis, IGC will manage the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws franchise as a distinct entity with its own dedicated staff, pending the sale of the franchise to a third party,” a June press release states. “The Overwatch League will provide oversight and monitor the team operations to ensure competitive integrity during the transition period.” Learn More.
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