Exertus Esports have new ownership – and the once UK organisation will now be based out of Houston, Texas.
We speak to the new CEO and co-owners for their plans, why they bought the org and ask them about the money some former League of Legends players are apparently owed.
A month or so ago, Exertus deleted all of their previous tweets and promised that an update would be coming soon.
A few weeks later and the announcement was made:
We are back, and under new ownership. We have big plans and hope you all will join us on this journey!
— Exertus eSports (@ExertusEsports) September 6, 2016
So who is behind the new org? Well, there’s a CEO and three co-owners so far.
CEO Jon Primm says he’s been involved within eSports for more than seven years, working with eLevate, eXcellence and most recently KingsmenGlobal.
“eSports has always been a passion, and turning Exertus into a household name would be satisfying,” Jon told eSports News UK.
“We are super excited for the future and we hope can retain past fans as well as bring in new ones along the way. This will be a fun ride.”
“[Co-owners] Blake and Mike have always been by my side, they are the guys who support me and have intelligent business minds. They are the definition of hard-working guys. The reason why I chose them to come on as co-owners.
League of Legends player money
Jon says that a League of Legends team may be a possibility further down the road, and that he wasn’t initially aware that former Exertus UK players are apparently owed money by the org.
Meet the rest of the team
Aside from CEO Jon Primm, there are three co-owners: Mike Calvillo, Blake and Joshua Hayes.
Describing himself as cautious but hard-working, 19-year-old Blake has been in the eSports industry for years.
Although he says he always puts business first, along with his full-time college schedule, he makes sure there is enough time in the day to relax. FIFA, Battlefield and Rocket League are some of his personal current games of choice. On a personal note, he is also a sports fan who is always focused on the next Arsenal match (good man).
Exertus hopes that Blake can help the brand prosper in its future within eSports.
Blake commented: “Exertus will be a global brand primarily run out of the lovely city of Houston, Texas. However, this does not mean the brand will forget its founding. We are studying closely the available leagues with the UK., as well as around the world.”
“To our knowledge, the LoL teams debt was not ours to keep. Although I have spoken to someone involved and told them, we will repay them once the financials are available for us to do so if the debt isn’t covered by then, all out of good faith.”
Then there’s Joshau “Foxtrot” Hayes, a 32-year-old from Tennessee, who has been in eSports for 10 years, from competing to management.
“A few noticeable teams I’ve been part of was Dream Team, doing graphical designs, and Pnda Gaming as an executive assistant,” he said.
“Exertus will become a very noticeable org.”
Finally there’s Mike Calvillo, described as a no nonsense, determined individual who is not afraid to get stuck in with some hard work.
Blake added: “He is no stranger to working exhausting, late night shifts and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. He has been involved in the gaming community for the better part of a decade, with much of that time involved in the world of eSports.
“Mike is a seasoned veteran when it comes to business dealings, ensuring Exertus has another brilliant mind to help with the most complex financial decisions. Most importantly, Mike is gratified for this opportunity, and is ready to begin the ascent towards the top alongside us.”
It’s a new journey for Exertus and will be interesting to see how they move forwards, but it is always a shame to see a well-known UK organisation leave the scene behind.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.