The North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) is moving towards a franchising model next year in order to generate better revenue streams for the participating teams and organizations. Riot Games is expected to reveal the ten successful applicants soon after it is done with its ongoing world championship. However, sources close to the matter have apparently leaked one of them.
According to a recent report from ESPN, majority owner Joe Lacob and assistant general manager Kirk Lacob of the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association (NBA) have been accepted by Riot Games as its newest franchise owner in North America.
The Lacob family will have to pay $16 million over the next few years for making its entry into League of Legends. $8 million of that will be deposited upfront, with $5 million being made later as the first installment and $3 million for not owning an existing franchise in the prior competitive seasons.
The Lacobs are the first non-endemic organization to be accepted into the upcoming franchised league, which started taking applications in May. Riot Games will only admit a total of ten teams from a considerably large pool.
This is not the first time that a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors has invested in esports. During the course of the past year, co-executive chairman Peter Guber acquired a majority stake in Team Liquid. In addition, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya helped raise $3 million in funding for Cloud9.
The NA LCS certainly seems primed and ready to enter a new era. More details are expected to arrive once the 2017 League of Legends World Championship concludes on November 4. It is currently hosting its second week of group stages, with the South Koreans showing dominance like always.