According to an ESPN article by Jacob Wolf, four European teams have applied for the membership in the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). The names of the teams? G2 Esports, Fnatic, Splyce, and Misfits. The applications were submitted independently with no previous arrangement with other teams. Allegedly, the main reason for this development is the lack of clarity regarding the future direction of the EU LCS as well as the increased stability in North America.
When it comes to League of Legends, it’s hard not to notice that Europe is on the sidelines. Riot has been using the region as a platform to experiment with concepts like Bo2s, different game density, and match timings. And while it’s great to have a place where you can try out new things, there’s no denying that EU LCS has suffered as a result.
The recent news of the franchising system coming to North America created an even larger disparity between the regions, but the final straw was the shocking lack of communication from the EU LCS organizers. It’s fine to announce that Europe isn’t planning to adopt the same system, but surely when your sister league is making massive changes, some hints on the future of your region are in order?
That said, it’s unlikely that European team will get accepted into the North American franchise. On paper, every single organization on the list fits Riot’s requirements of being an established brand with great financial security and a history of competitive success.
In practice, though, these teams are the juggernauts of the EU LCS, and their home region would suffer greatly if they were to leave. Not only that, but they would have to relocate to Los Angeles and reimagine their rosters since Riot only allows two imports per team, so most European players wouldn’t be able to take part in the North American league.
The move would go a bit smoother for companies like Splyce and Misfits that are already based in North America, but Fnatic and G2 Esports would have to completely overhaul their organizational structures.
In the past, European organizations have voiced their concerns over the future of their league. In particular, G2’s Carlos “ocelote’ Rodriguez argued for revenue sharing and better financial incentives for a riskier league like the EU LCS.
As of July 28, the applications for the NA LCS franchising are no longer being accepted, and Riot Games are planning to announce the teams that have made the cut in November.
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