The two successful applications will see the Cavaliers enter the League of Legends scene for the first time, whilst FlyQuest return to the North American League of Legends Championship Series after one season of competition. Meanwhile, G2 Esports seemingly failed in their bid to secure a transatlantic move, according to ESPN. The news follows previous reports claiming G2 were the only team out of four applicants from the EU LCS to make it to the second phase of applications.
Sources have claimed that the teams with successful applications were notified of Riot Games’ decisions last week.
The Cavaliers’ success means they will be required by NBA guidelines to create a new brand for the upcoming season. The team has reportedly hired former Call of Duty pro Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag to head operations of the esports division, which may mean that the team adopts his ‘100 Thieves’ brand. Matthew founded 100 Thieves in April last year to compete in the Call of Duty World League. The Cavaliers are apparently on the look out for League of Legends staff, with the transfer period opening on the 21st of November.
The latest news means FlyQuest are the 6th and last team to rejoin the NA LCS from the ten that competed last split.
Here’s the latest on which franchises you can expect to see at the NA LCS next year:
- Team SoloMid
- Counter Logic Gaming
- Team Liquid
- OpTic Gaming
- Joe Lacob, majority stake owner of the NBA team Golden State Warriors
- Echo Fox
- Cleveland Cavaliers
Each successful team will have to pay a $10 million (£7.61m) buy-in fee, with half of that up-front and the rest in delayed installments. Existing teams who are denied entry will be receive compensation from a pool of funding provided by new teams entering the league, who will have to supply an addition $3m (£2.77m) each. With all original NA LCS teams’ fates apparently decided, there will be one more as-yet unannounced franchise to enter and complete the ten-team league in 2018.
Esports Insider says: Big money has been entering the NA LCS for some time now, but it is still remarkable news to see the Cleveland Cavaliers joining the Warriors as the latest NBA brand to invest heavily in the scene. G2 Esports are left to return to the uncertainty of the EU LCS after their move falls through, but FlyQuest fans have reason to rejoice.