Sources are telling ESPN that G2 Esports, Fnatic, Misfits, Schalke 04 Esports and Team Vitality have made the cut for EU LCS Franchising.
— ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) October 2, 2018
All five teams have been competing in the EU LCS for multiple years now; G2 Esports since 2015 and Fnatic since the creation of the league back in 2013. Meanwhile, Misfits would promote from the European Challenger Series back in 2016. Team Vitality would join the EU LCS by acquiring Gambit Gaming’s slot, while Schalke 04 would promote from the EUCS for the 2018 season. Each organization will be paying about 9.26 million dollars for the spot in the league. Also, joining the league will entitle each team to 32.5% of the league revenue pool.
Many teams would apply for EU LCS franchising, and many would be declined. In fact, long-standing teams Splyce and H2K Gaming were both denied their entry into the league. The news wasn’t really surprising for many fans though. The consensus was that Splyce had not been able to brand themselves successfully in Europe and that their fanbase was pretty small. Also, they had barely any connection to Europe, besides the fact that they had an EU LCS team. H2K has also lost a lot of their fanbase over the years, after becoming quite mediocre in the EU LCS.
Meanwhile, G2 Esports and Fnatic are two of the most important European teams to ever be created. They have teams in some of the most popular esports, like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, and DOTA. Misfits have been endorsed by the Miami Heat, and have created a strong fan base in their short time in the EU LCS. Schalke 04 has plenty of factors leading to their acceptance for an EU LCS franchising slot. They are a well-known team with plenty of supporters to create a fanbase and have shown a lot of support for the esports side of the organization. As for Vitality, they are partners with Orange, one of the biggest telecoms in the world. That funding, plus their recent success, should give a reason for their addition to the league.
The remaining EU LCS teams whose fate isn’t known yet are Unicorns of Love, ROCCAT and GIANTS Gaming. There are plenty of doubters for these three teams. Reason being, they may lack the funds to even afford an EU LCS slot. Additionally, the fanbase may not be there to justify a spot for either of these teams.
There are still five more slots available in the EU LCS, with two teams to be completely new to League esports scene. Therefore, this coming offseason should be a wild one. Incoming organizations will be hunting for the best available free agents after teams leave the league. Players like Odoamne, Xerxe, Nisqy, Kobbe, and KaSing will all be free agents. Include the European players that could possibly return from North America, and the free agency period should shape up to be interesting. It all depends on who joins the league, and how much money they bring to the table. It’s possible that European football teams decide to take the plunge after seeing the success of Schalke 04.
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