Reports arriving for the newly franchised North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) have so far been negative for endemic esports organizations. Team Dignitas, Team Envy, and Phoenix1 have all been said to have their applications rejected by Riot Games for unknown reasons. Today, however, we finally get to hear something positive for a change.
According to another report from ESPN, sources close to the matter have confirmed that Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, Cloud9 and Counter Logic Gaming have been allowed to rejoin the NA LCS in the next season.
Each of the approved endemic organizations will have to pay $10 million for their respective franchises over the next few years. $5 million from this figure needs to be cleared before the start of the season, giving them just a few remaining months.
All four have large followings in the esports world, with several achievements and some of the best players lined up for League of Legends. Besides Team SoloMid, the rest of the three have taken outside investment in the last two years. Team Liquid sold a controlling stake to group aXiomatic last year, Counter Logic Gaming did the same to the Madison Square Garden Company in July, and Cloud9 managed a successful fund-raiser across multiple investment groups in the past months.
More than a hundred applications have so far been submitted to Riot Games in the hopes of acceptance. The company is said to have started notifying rejected applicants last week. It is expected to make an official announcement as to which of the ten applications have been approved for the NA LCS in the coming weeks.
Majority owner Joe Lacob and assistant general manager Kirk Lacob of the Golden State Warriors in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is the only non-endemic new franchise owner that has reportedly been accepted by Riot Games so far.