EU LCS franchising is going to bring plenty change to the region.
For starters, the relegation system EU stood by in the face of NA LCS franchising will now be out, and bigger organizations will now be taking the place of some teams with history in the league. We saw this with the removal of orgs like Dignitas and Immortals in NA, and we’re now starting to see the same in Europe.
The first two casualties of this transitionas reported by Jacob Wolfare Splyce and H2k, who both joined the league in 2015.
While Splyce’s application was their own, and probably hinged more on their tradition of building up the next generation of stars for years prior (names like Wunder, Sencux, and Kobbe,) they were shot down. Their slot will likely go to a bigger money org with more exposure.
H2k’s application on the other hand had a bit of spice underneath it. The team that not so long ago published open letters criticizing the EU LCS for its lack of profitability decided to join forces with former EU org Paris Saint-Germain, or PSG, for its franchising application. H2k probably figured this would help alleviate their horrendous end to 2018 while looking ahead to the debut of franchising. And the monetary value of these names combined might rival some of the competition. Unfortunately the org with perhaps the best Worlds showing EU history outside of a Misfits 3-2 over SKT in 2017, will now be a page in the history books. And not even the combined forces of itself and the team infamous for picking up the expensive Neymar this year could offer Riot the business acumen they’re looking for in this round of franchising applications.
The good with the bad
While franchising can be endlessly critiqued for its disregard for League of Legends history, there’s no one that can say this move isn’t looking to the future. Splyce and H2k may be major orgs in EU LCS history, but they aren’t the business proposition Riot sees as bearing the EU LCS torch to the fullest.
But the good news is that while we are losing familiar faces, these are growing pains on the road to a more established and secure EU LCS in the future. That means more money, that means more presence, and that means more infrastructure and professionalism.
It may seem bad to fans of the teams cut, but this is for a better future as Riot sees it. And we can’t get (so) mad at that.
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