Following the NA LCS, the EU LCS is franchising this year. As such, many investors have become interested in partnering with the EU LCS and Riot Games. Recent sources have stated that seven football clubs are in the second stage of applying for entry to the EU LCS.
Recently, Schalke 04 reached finals in the latest split. This is similar to what happened in the NA LCS, when NBA teams bought up many of the new slots for teams.
High profile investors are interested due to the pricey buy-in for franchisement. Riot has stated that a minimum of $10 million USD is needed to gain access to the league. Most teams do not have the necessary funds to apply, and therefore are looking to football clubs and other strong endemic partners within Europe.
Paris Saint-Germain, who used to operate a team in the minor leagues has reportedly signed a deal with current EU team, H2K. PSG already has another sponsorship for LGD, a Chinese team, in Dota. The exact workings of these two deals are currently up in the air as a conflict of interest may arise. Many conflicts of interest have arisen within professional League of Legends recently.
Cloud9, a North American team, received funding from video game developer FunPlus. FunPlus also invested in a Chinese team, FunPlus Pheonix. Conflict of interest is not something that Riot wants within the professional scene. They have forced many other investors to sell off their shares in order to keep the scene clean.
Team Vitality, which is currently in the EU LCS, partnered with Orange just today. This telecommunications giant has demonstrated the widespread enthusiasm for the franchisement of the league. Only time will tell which teams get into the new EU LCS, but applications currently look very competitive.
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