It was reported last week that Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob has secured a North American League of Legends Championship Series slot as the first non-endemic brand to secure a slot under Riot Games’ new system. ESPN has now reported that Team Dignitas is the first existing NA LCS team to miss out on a slot moving forward.
The report suggests that Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, started notifying applicants of the results last week, so one would assume details will soon officially emerge of which teams have missed out, and who the new players in the league will be. The report also suggests that Team Dignitas is not the only existing team in the league to be notified of its removal.
With Dignitas set to leave the LCS, it will be entered into a pool for compensation for an exit fee, alongside other teams that do not secure a spot under the new franchise system. As a result of not securing a spot for next year, Dignitas must, per Riot instructions, sell or terminate the contracts of Benjamin “LOD” DeMunck and Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon who have contracts going into 2018. The remaining contracts end on November 20th, the day before the opening of next season’s transfer window.
Team Dignitas would not have been an organisation that many would have anticipated missing out on a slot in the new franchised system. The parent organisation of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils acquired Team Dignitas back in 2016, and thus the funding is most definitely there. It was the first example of an organisation being acquired by a sports team’s ownership group rather than just one individual member.
Esports Insider says: Big, big news this. Dignitas and the 76ers are most definitely an organisation that we wouldn’t have expected to miss out. With the Golden State Warriors securing a spot but the 76ers missing out despite having an existing affinity to esports we’re wholly intrigued about who has missed out.