Phoenix1, Team EnVyUs, and Team Dignitas have all been denied entry into the newly-franchised North American League of Legends Championship Series. This reporting comes from ESPN’s Jacob Wolf, who has sources close to the teams. The applications submitted by these three have been rejected by Riot Games in their newly franchised model.
Previously, teams could qualify through the LoL Challenger Series, where the bottom teams would have to compete to avoid relegation. With the new franchise model, however, the spots will be permanent. This is great news for teams in the league, and bad news for those who did not make the cut.
There was debate over whether the rejection of these teams was related to performance or not. Team Dignitas did not have the most stellar season, and their denial may directly correlate with that. They dropped out of relegation in 2016, combined with Apex Gaming, and were then bought out by the Philadelphia 76ers.
The other teams did not have such restructuring issues and stayed in the LCS through the end of 2017 season; however, they did not perform the greatest, either. The rejection into the league may be related to those factors, or may be just to add some new blood into the mix. Riot Games is not discussing the factors behind their decisions.
The price set for buying into the newly formed NA LCS starts at $10 million for current spot holders, while new applicants will pay $13 million to get in. There was a rumor that over one hundred interested parties had submitted applications to Riot Games for a slot.
Now that the applicants have narrowed, we are starting to see who the potential new blood in the esports scene will be. For example, Golden States Warriors owner Joe Lacob will be receiving one of these spots and will pay the $13 million entry fee.
Those teams who do not make the franchise cut and are losing their franchise spot will get paid from the pot of incoming new franchise owners. Based on the presence they had in the previous North American Lol Champion Series, the additional $3 million that newly-joining franchise owners will pay into the league will be distributed to those who lost their slots.
For a team to be able to receive compensation, they will be forced to sell or terminate contracts that they have with current players that would have otherwise lasted until the end of the 2018 season. That way, the franchises that made their way into the league can recruit these players.
The more teams are rejected from a franchise position, the more slots will become available. The result will be an increase in the amount that can be paid out. Currently, there are reports of 3 slots open, totaling $9 million to be split up. Only time will tell which teams make it into the franchise league when everything is said and done.
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