Following months of rumors and reports, Riot Games has officially announced the ten franchises that will be making the overhauled North American League Championship Series (NA LCS) next year.
“Over the last few months, we met with prospective groups to delve into their team strategy, business and brand plans, and to discuss the staff and support they were putting in place for the pros competing under their banner,” Riot Games stated in the announcement. “We believe the ten teams joining the NA LCS are the best possible blend of partners for the league.”
Team SoloMid (TSM)
They’re the only team in the history of League of Legends to attend every single World Championship and the only team to appear in every NA LCS finals. Pushing pros to deliver world-class performances, TSM has always led by competitive excellence and instinct, and are going into 2018 with a stronger vision than ever.
Golden Guardians (GGS)
The Golden State Warriors are one of the biggest brands in all of traditional sports. Bringing home two of the last three NBA Finals has given this organization a strong appreciation for winning; team owner Joe Lacob is looking to replicate that success on the Rift.
Their ability to consistently challenge the top teams in the league as they continue to bring on new team members sets the standard for all squads in the NA LCS; this is a veteran org that won’t be intimidated facing new opponents next year.
FlyQuest are focused on becoming one of the most fan-centric teams in the NA LCS. They may have struggled at times during their rookie season, but Wes Edens’ recently resurgent Bucks team shows that you shouldn’t bet against this squad for long.
Echo Fox (FOX)
With the newly secured support of the Yankees, Echo Fox can double down on their belief in wellness and training and should reach even higher levels of success on the Rift.
Clutch Gaming (CG)
The esports venture of the Houston Rockets, Clutch Gaming’s management team has been building out a presence in League of Legends for the past year and a half, laying down their path to future championships.
100 Thieves (100)
100 Thieves enter the NA LCS behind the strong combination of Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag’s deep esports experience and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship sports expertise.
Team Liquid (TL)
With a detailed plan for the future and an ownership group of accomplished sports and media veterans in aXiomatic to call on, Team Liquid is ready to lead the way across all facets of an evolved NA LCS.
Optic Gaming (OPT)
Supported by the power of the infamous ‘Green Wall’, one of the loudest and proudest fan bases across esports, and OpTic’s passion to create entertaining content for their fans, they could quickly challenge more established NA LCS teams for fans’ attention.
Counter Logic Gaming (CLG)
One of the longest-running teams in North America, and one of the only teams from the region to win an international tournament, Counter Logic Gaming has persevered through thick and thin to become one of the most beloved teams in North America.
Riot Games reportedly received more than a hundred applications for its new league. These ten were the only ones approved. The list of rejections include a number of prominent endemic esports organizations such as Fnatic, G2 Esports, Misfits, and Splyce.