A sporting world giant is front and centre as Kraft Group and Oxygen Esports team up

One of the most famous names in traditional American sports has just made another big move into the digital realm of esports. Football fans know Robert Kraft as the owner of the New England Patriots, one of the most successful franchises in the National Football League. Now the 80-year-old billionaire’s Kraft Group has joined up with Oxygen Esports to make a big move with a Call of Duty League franchise. The deal also sees Oxygen and Boston Uprising (the Overwatch League team owned by Kraft) moving under the same umbrella.

Those up on their esports will know that the CDL slot is open thanks to a Team Envy and OpTic Gaming merger.

The marriage of Oxygen and Boston Uprising gives the two organizations more than a dozen rosters in various esports leagues.

Given Kraft’s track record in the sporting world, and Oxygen’s clout, it’s no great shocker that Activision Blizzard Esports, which runs the Overwatch League, was thrilled with the news.

“I’m excited to welcome our newest team, Boston, to our 2022 season line-up,” Activision Blizzard’s Brandon Snow said in a release. “Oxygen Esports and Kraft Sports and Entertainment represent some of the very best organizations in all of esports, sports and entertainment. Boston is no stranger to championship titles, and we fully expect them to build a winner in Boston as we open our third season in Call of Duty League.”

Kraft family spokesperson Stacey James added, “The Kraft family could not be more excited to broaden their exposure to esports. By combining the Boston Uprising with Oxygen Esports, and the announcement of a Boston Call of Duty League franchise, New England will be a powerful player in competitive gaming. With Oxygen functioning as the operator and their multitude of new titles and leagues, they are shaping the future of esports for all New England gaming fans.”

Oxygen CEO Murphy Vandervelde chipped in with, “We are ecstatic to welcome the Kraft’s and all our new capital partners to the OXG family and believe that together we are positioned to dominate the New England gaming market. Combining the sports, live event and business acumen of these established partners, OXG’s notable esports operating experience and multiple exclusive league operating agreements, we have overnight created a leader in the global esports industry.”

Watch for the new super-organization to be headquartered at Patriot Place in Foxborough, Massachusetts. There’s where the Boston Uprising trains.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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