It has been announced and confirmed by Riot games that there are going to be no changes in terms of the number of teams that will be competing at next year’s NA LCS event.
The number of teams is going to remain at ten and these teams that will make the cut will be announced in due course during the month of November. There had been rumours going around the scene that there would be a dozen teams going to be involved in next year’s event, an increase of two teams.
There were also some people who thought that the number of teams could potentially be reduced by two down to a total of eight teams. It appears that Riot Games did concern these options but after a lot of thinking and experimenting behind closed doors, they decided that the best course of action was to keep the number of teams entering the NA LCS at ten.
They said that both options didn’t seem like it was the best thing to do and that the region of North America has sufficient talent to garner ten different teams that are all playing to a high standard and are all in with a chance of competing for the ultimate honours at the event. Any decreases in the number of teams would negatively affect the pro talent that exists inside of the region and hold back the esport growth as a whole.
In talking about the selection process of new franchises, it was confirmed by Riot Games that the written applications as well as the in-person interviews have all been conducted and that they are currently making their final decisions as to who will be awarded the franchises. This is an exciting space to watch and many people in the scene will be eagerly awaiting the announcement.
They are being aided in this selection process by a consulting firm by the name of Barrett Sports Group who will help them to break down and evaluate the various applications looking at aspects such as the brand strategy, competitive strategy, business plans and how familiar the owners are with esports as a whole.
It was confirmed that they received more than ten applications that would be good fits for them. They talked about how no application was perfect and that many of them were in with a fighting chance of coming out on the right end of the decision.
It has been announced that the buy-in fees for the franchises, which is either going to be $10 million or $13 million, can be paid in two different instalments. Each of the teams are required to pay $5 million in an upfront fee and those new teams that were not participants in either NA CS or NA LCS in the year 2017 will be required to contribute a further $3 million each and this money will be divided among the teams that played these events in the 2017 calendar and who did not receive selection for LCS in 2018 or they did not apply for it.