Friday, February 23, 2018

The Bi-weekly Gamer: New League of Legends format shaking things up

November 1, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Riot Games’ upcoming franchise model for League of Legends (LoL) has turned quite a few heads, thanks to the company’s ambitious design and announcements—and the fact that not everyone can actually get into the league.

Even though the league isn’t supposed to start until early next year, Riot is already selecting teams. Existing League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) teams will have higher priority over new teams buying into the new league.

The Bi-weekly Gamer is a column about competitive gaming that appears in every issue of Nexus.

Fan-favourite teams Counter Logic Gaming, Team Solo Mid, Cloud9, and Team Liquid will all be accepted and required to pay $10 million in franchising fees, due over the next few years, with $5 million required upfront.

So far, three teams have been confirmed. Las Vegas Golden State Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob and his son Kirk secured one of the spots, while hugely popular esports team OpTic Gaming was fortunate enough to obtain the other. The third team is unknown for now but an announcement should be coming soon enough.

One of the biggest announcements was that longtime contender Team Dignitas has been denied entry into the new league. Along with Dignitas, two other previous LCS teams were denied. Phoenix1 and Team Envy have both been a part of the LCS since 2016, when they both bought into the league for $1 million each and replaced Team Impulse and Renegades, who were both banned for misconduct. All three denials come as a shock, since all the teams had made playoffs this year, with Phoenix1 coming third in the 2017 spring split. Team EnVyUs, Team Envy’s parent esport organization, recently obtained a $35-million investment from Hersh Family Investments, so the fact that Team Envy’s application was denied is a huge hit for their investors.

Competition for spots is expected to heat up in the months leading up to the start of the season, and more surprises are sure to come as Riot announces both confirmed and denied applications. Players affected by denied applications will either have their contracts terminated and paid out or be traded to other teams that make it into the franchise model.

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