New York Mets sister company and Overwatch League New York slot holder Sterling.VC is in the process of finalizing agreements to acquire the roster of South Korean Overwatch team LW Blue, sources close to the team and the venture capital firm told ESPN.
Once the deal is done, LW Blue will temporarily relocate to Los Angeles, where the first season of the Overwatch League will take place. Following the enactment of geolocation in the league at a future date, the franchise will move back to New York City.
The deal has been negotiated over the past few weeks, with LW Blue owner Ji Yeong-hun and Luminosity Gaming owner Steve Maida helping broker it, sources said. It is unclear what Ji or Maida's role with the roster will be, if anything at all, once the team moves to Los Angeles.
The roster is the second top South Korean Overwatch team to sign with an Overwatch League organization. The majority of the roster of two-time APEX champion Lunatic-Hai signed agreements to relocate to Los Angeles and compete on behalf of KSV Esports, the slot owner of the Seoul, South Korea Overwatch League slot, the team confirmed Monday.
LW's star DPS Hwang "Fl0w3R" Yeon-oh-often, considered by many analysts one of the best in the world, will not be eligible to compete in the Overwatch League. Fl0w3R is currently 17 years old and will not have turned 18, the minimum age of eligibility, by proposed time of launch for the league, which is currently set for the end of 2017.
The team will be overseen by Scott Tester, who accepted a position with Sterling.VC and the team in July. Tester previously worked at Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment as a liaison between the Overwatch esports and Overwatch game development teams.
LW Blue withdrew from competing in the OGN Overwatch APEX tournament on Monday, the tournament organizer announced. South Korean news website FOMOS reported that the roster will be competing in the Overwatch League but did not specify for which city at that time.
Sterling.VC and its partners, Jeff Wilpon and Farzam Kamel, initially purchased into the Overwatch League in May for a $20 million buy-in. Sterling.VC's parent company, Sterling Equities, is owned by Fred Wilpon, the owner of MLB's New York Mets.
Sterling.VC did not respond for comment.