According to the ESPN reports, three more teams are joining the North American League of Legends Championship Series! Namely, FlyQuest, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers. What does this mean for the future of the league?
If there’s one thing to be said about the 2018 NA LCS season, it’s that it’s going to be a very, very different league. Of course, FlyQuest have already been a part of the competition for two consecutive splits, and their current roster consists of tried and trusted veterans. But Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets represent the new wave of sports investments trickling down into the League of Legends scene. Here’s how the 10 teams of the NA LCS look like with their addition:
- Team SoloMid
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Team Liquid
- Echo Fox
- OpTic Gaming
- Golden State Warriors (Joe Lacob)
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Houston Rockets
As you can see, four organizations are complete newcomers, three of which have no prior history in esports. Of course, we’re not questioning their qualifications. Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets are all massive in the NBA, and there’s not a shred of doubt in our minds that they’re going to bring a lot to the league. But them joining the NA LCS at the cost of endemic organizations like Team Dignitas and Immortals marks the begging of a very different era for League of Legends esports.
Now, money talks.
Gone are the days when five promising players could form a team and—if they’re good enough—run it up all the way to the biggest professional league there is. In the franchising age, this kind of approach is frowned upon. At least, if said players don’t have strong backers. Passion and competitive integrity clashed against calculation and financial security—and they had to take a step back. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The grass wasn’t always greener on the other side. And while fans like to reminiscent of the past where everything was a possible and NA LCS titans could come and go in a matter of several splits, the scene lacked stability. There’s only so far you can get on passion alone, and if LCS were to make it big, it’s expected for the big names to get involved.
It’s hard to feel good about newcomers replacing household esports orgs that every fan knew and loved, but the League of Legends scene needs to keep growing. And unfortunately, that’s the trade-off we have to make to see the next step in its evolution.
What do you think about FlyQuest, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers joining the NA LCS? Share your opinion in the comments!
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