For transparency: Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco was hired on a freelance consultancy basis to help shape earlier versions of the announcement found in Resolve’s Google Doc
UK esports organisation Resolve have acquired Barrage in a deal that will see Resolve play in the Northern League of Legends Championship (NLC) from the Summer 2021 Season.
Resolve said they have both ‘acquired and merged’ with Barrage in a Google Doc, and that they will now take on Barrage’s day-to-day operations. Barrage’s social accounts will become Resolve from 3pm BST tomorrow (May 8th).
Some of Barrage’s members of staff will be moving across to Resolve, while others, including MD Jeff Simpkins and League of Legends team manager Richard ‘Froomie’ Froom, will be moving on. However, Jeff will also be helping Resolve in an advisory capacity.
As well as the acquisition fee, Resolve paid another fee to compensate for Barrage’s existing members of staff who won’t be joining. Both fees were undisclosed.
Esports News UK understands non-compete agreements which have been made. For example, in Froomie’s tweet, he stated that he has a non-compete agreement in place with Resolve around the NLC, so he won’t be able to work for a rival NLC team in the next split.
However, he did say that as of the roster lock from May 24th, he can sign with any team (including NLC teams) he likes, and that he’s happy to consider signing with any team outside of the NLC right now (including the Telia Masters/UKLC)/
With the acquisition, this means Resolve has four UK League of Legend slots: Resolve academy (UKEL), Resolve main team (UKLC), Barrage Academy (UKLC) and Barrage main team (NLC). It will now be giving up one slot in the UKEL and one slot in the UKLC for the organisers to hand to other teams.
In addition, Resolve said it will ‘review Barrage’s North American team operations’.
To honour Barrage’s legacy, 50 limited edition Resolve/Barrage esports jerseys will be created, with all profits from the shirt sales going to Barrage’s charity partner SpecialEffect.
In a Google Doc, Resolve founder Ilias ‘Rai’ Pajoheshfar commented: “When Barrage kindly presented us with this opportunity, we felt an obligation to ensure the UK continues to be represented and, after careful consideration, we felt the timing was right.
“We would like to thank Barrage for their hard work and service to UK esports, and will honour their legacy.”
Jeff Simpkins, former MD of Barrage Esports, said he approached Resolve after being unable to “give Barrage the resources or time to truly get it to where I wanted to be”.
He said: “I reached out to Ilias and Resolve as I felt it was time to make a decision about Barrage’s and my own future in esports. I wanted to ensure that whatever decision was made, the history of Barrage was entrusted to people who would value it and be able to truly build upon it. I feel, from the discussions I’ve had with Ilias and the team at Resolve, that they will do that.
“To all those who have supported Barrage, been part of our journey and specifically supported or helped guide myself over the years, thank you so much. It has been an absolute honour and I can’t properly encapsulate in so few words how much that has truly meant to me. I hope you will now give Resolve, Ilias and the team the same support that you have offered Barrage and myself as they now take over the mantle.”
This is not the first merger Barrage has been involved in. Back in 2017, Barrage merged with Dukes Esports.
Jeff told Esports News UK at the time: “I think we’re gonna have to have more UK orgs merging in the future, because there’s too many at the moment. Not everyone is going to have a seat at the table and can compete at the same level. To compete at the higher level, I think people are going to have to consolidate and merge to make sure they’re in for a chance.”
Barrage have established themselves as a well-known and respected UK esports organisation, particularly within UK League of Legends.
Esports News UK has featured Barrage on several occasions over the years. Here’s a selection of content:
- We asked Barrage Esports’ veteran League of Legends players Flaresz and Hadow to interview each other – here’s what happened
- In-depth interview with Barrage Esports on their League of Legends off-season, the ‘mess’ in the NA amateur scene and UKLC expectations: “We’ve created a monster of a roster”
- Barrage Esports players help kids fight back against Aldi’s ‘Teatime Takedown’ campaign
- i63 video interview: Barrage Esports owner on the UK scene needing to work together
- ‘If you’re going to start an esports org without some budget or experience, you’re too late to the party’ – Barrage
You can also check out our interview with Resolve founder Ilias ‘Rai’ Pajoheshfar from February 2021 here.
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.