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TSM, CLG, Cloud9, and Team Liquid stay in the NA LCS

TSM, CLG, Cloud9, and Team Liquid will be returning to the NA LCS! What does this mean for the post-franchising scene?


That’s right, the Big Four of the North American League of Legends Championship Series are here to stay in North America!

The news came in an investigative ESPN article by Jacob Wolf. TSM, CLG, and Team Liquid (formerly known as Team Curse,) are the founding members of the NA LCS that were a part of the league since 2013. Cloud9 joined them approximately six months later. 

Times of uncertainty

This announcement might sound a bit like saying, “water is wet”, and indeed, it’s hard to imagine the NA LCS without its iconic teams.

Yet with the recent news of Team Dignitas not making the cut, it was a very possible outcome.

CLG, Cloud9, and Team Liquid have all had to attract numerous sponsors to remain in the league, and TSM is the only organization that managed to enter the 2018 NA LCS season without any extra investments. Despite Team Liquid’s positions weakening as of late, these four organizations have always been the core of the North American competition. They’ve proven they have what it takes to succeed, and built up massive followings in the process.

And this is exactly what Riot Games are looking for in their partners.

In the era of franchising, having great branding is just as important as enjoying competitive success. And considering the league is switching to the Bo1 format, you might even argue that being recognizable and viewer-friendly is much more valuable nowadays.

Of course, Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, and Cloud9 don’t have a shortage of competitive accomplishments. Every single one of these teams has fielded strong rosters, taken first in the NA LCS, and participated in World Championships. 

But with that said, they’ll be entering a new league in the upcoming season. A different format is already hard enough to adapt to, but with Golden State Warriors and OpTic Gaming joining the fray, they will also face very different competition.

Still, Riot Games have already mentioned that it will take several consecutive last-place finishes for them to even consider kicking a team out. So every organization will have a lot of breathing room.

With that in mind, we’re sure that the Big Four of the NA LCS will be able to adapt, just as they’ve done in the past. 

It will be up to the newcomers to make their own legacy, and whether they can or can’t do it will likely make or break the league. 

So, you know, no pressure.

What do you think about TSM, C9, TL, and CLG rejoining the NA LCS? Share your opinion in the comments!

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Daniil Volkov

I craft narratives around League of Legends and cover LCK, NA & EU LCS.

TSM, CLG, Cloud9, and Team Liquid stay in the NA LCS

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