ESPN Esports
August 8th, 2018

OpTic, Outlaws ownership group to cut ties with Deep Space Ventures after alleged domestic violence dispute

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An Optic Gaming banner hangs over the auditorium during the Call of Duty MLG Orlando Open at Loews Royal Pacific Hotel. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

OpTic Gaming and Houston Outlaws ownership group Infinite Esports & Entertainment is cutting ties with one of its investors, Deep Space Ventures, after that company's managing partner, Stephen Hays, was arrested on Sunday after an alleged domestic violence dispute, Infinite sources told ESPN.

Hays was arrested on Sunday in Frisco, Texas, after he allegedly attacked his wife with a hammer in their bedroom in their home in Frisco, according to a police report obtained by the Dallas Morning News. Hays was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony.

Hays, a 38-year-old former investment banker who co-founded the $20 million investment fund Deep Space in 2016, posted $50,000 bond on Tuesday, according to the Morning News.

The report states a Frisco Police Department officer was called to the emergency room at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Frisco, where Hays' wife, Christine Hays, had been taken. Christine Hays told the officer she was assaulted by her husband at their home around 4 a.m. following their joint attendance to a Panic! At The Disco concert at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Christine Hays told police that she had taken an Uber home from American Airlines Center in Dallas after she had asked Hays to dance, he declined and became upset with her. She awoke when Stephen Hays allegedly yelled at her and walked into their bedroom with a hammer in his hand. He then allegedly assaulted her with the hammer and other items he allegedly threw at her.

Police searched the couple's home and found the master bedroom door broken off the hinges and a hammer stuck in the wall above the couple's bed's headboard.

Christine Hays told police she drove to a relative's house, who then drove her to the emergency room, after her husband allegedly told her to leave their home. Police reported that they found blood stains in Christine Hays' car. Christine Hays was treated for a laceration to the back of her head, a cut above her left eye and according to the report, she was bruised on both of her arms.

Hays previously plead guilty in November to a charge of attempted assault and attempted extortion after a woman accused him of striking her and pushing her down the stairs near a bar in Vail, Colorado. Hays was sentenced by an Eagle County, Colorado judge to 90 days in jail, which was later suspended, and four years probation. Hays, in a Medium post, disputed the woman's account and later told VentureBeat that he maintained his innocence and was forced to take a plea deal.

Hays and Deep Space first invested in Infinite, the Frisco-based parent of OpTic, the Houston Outlaws and nine other esports subsidiaries, in December. Deep Space also invests in other esports technology and merchandising companies like PlayVS, Mobalytics, Battlefy and Ateyo. Hays is a well-known wealthy venture capitalist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as a member in the private Dallas Cowboys club in Frisco, which costs a several-thousand-dollar initiation fee and a multi-hundred-dollar monthly membership fee.

Infinite Esports & Entertainment declined to comment.


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