The Dallas Empire start a new chapter in Call of Duty esports history. Dallas, which secured one of 12 team spots in the global, city-based Call of Duty® LeagueTM launching in 2020, is a growing hotbed for esports. The Empire is owned and operated by Envy Gaming, one of the largest esports organizations in the world. Envy has fielded one of the most elite professional Call of Duty teams for more than a decade.
“The Dallas Empire name and branding are a nod to our past, our future, and the great State of Texas,” said Mike Rufail, owner and CEO of Envy Gaming. “Dallas is one of the greatest sports cities in the world. And it’s where we’re building our empire. We want to bring a Call of Duty League Championship home to Texas.”
The Call of Duty League, operated by Activision Blizzard, will feature 26 events over 28 weeks starting in early 2020. The 12 professional teams compete in five-versus-five format, playing Call of Duty® Modern Warfare and culminating in the Call of Duty League Championship. Teams play in a home and away format; the Dallas Empire will host two weekend series of Call of Duty League competition in North Texas in 2020.
Born and raised in Texas, Dallas Empire owner Mike Rufail grew up reciting the Texas State Song. History buffs may recognize the symbolism in the team’s name derived from the lyrics, “O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.”
Empire also embodies the legacy that parent organization Envy has built since entering the competitive Call of Duty scene in 2007. Envy achieved phenomenal success, including the most World Championship Grand Finals appearances of any Call of Duty team.
The name Empire is also intended to evoke a spirit of entrepreneurialism.
“This organization started from humble beginnings and clawed its way to the top,” said Rufail. “Launching the Dallas Empire brand to fans around the world is a dream realized. And a story we hope inspires the community and next wave of gaming pioneers.”
The primary team colors are black and gold, with a secondary color of standard blue. The logo features an imposing crown resting atop the Dallas Empire mark, symbolic of the championship caliber team. The crown components include an N and V shape as a nod to Envy Gaming’s history in Call of Duty.
“This team is hardworking, focused, and confident. And one we expect Dallas will be proud to call its own,” said Rufail.
The Dallas Empire roster features the following players:
James “Clayster” Eubanks
Ian “Crimsix” Porter
Cuyler “Huke” Garland
Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal
Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro
For more information, follow @DallasEmpire on Twitter.