Earlier this morning it was revealed that Gravity, an LCS team owned by Davis “Samurai” Vague, was looking to sell their spot in the Riot owned league. This isn’t the first team to announce these intentions. Previously Team8, who has actually been sold already, and Team Impulse have revealed the same thing. But why are these organizations giving up on their teams?
The obvious answer is the money. LCS spots are probably the hottest commodity in all of esports, providing one of the best advertising platforms in the entire industry. Team8, who are now known as Immortals, were clearly sold for quite a large amount of money. They were bought by a group of private investors, including groups and people such as Clinton Foy, who already owns a large amount of “real estate” in the esports world, and the band Linkin Park. That’s right, Linkin Park now owns an LCS team. Team8, however, isn’t the only example of a large sale. Team Dignitas, who were fortunate enough to have two teams qualify for the upcoming season, were forced to sell one of their squads due to Riot’s rules. This resulted in them being able to sell off their recently qualified European team for an unrevealed amount that is speculated to be upwards of $1 million dollars! But what if money wasn’t the only incentive to move away from the world of League of Legends esports?
On the more conspiracy theory side of things, Richard Lewis has eluded to the idea that Riot would like even more control of teams playing in their league. He has spoken about them moving towards a “franchise system” and, although it hasn’t been explained to general public what this means, it’s very easy to see how a change like this could be scary to some team owners.
I personally believe that these smaller organizations are selling out not due to an owner’s greed, but due to them not making any money in their normal operations. The main income for the teams themselves has always been merchandising and sponsorship deals. It’s no secret that T8 and TIP have never been the biggest marketing brands in the league, could it be possible that they weren’t profitable and that this was just a way to break even on the owner’s investment?
What do you think of all these new owner’s coming into the LCS? Let us know in the comments below and remember to follow us here at eSports Guru for all your competitive gaming needs!