It was revealed in March that the EU LCS would follow in the footsteps of the NA LCS in introducing franchising with buy-ins coming in at anywhere from 8,000,000 euros (£6,997,307.20) for teams already in the league and 10,500,000 euros (£9,183,965.70) for those who are looking to get involved.
The same report has speculated that Schalke 04 Esports may be well out of the EU LCS when 2019 comes around due to the sheer expense of being involved once franchising is implemented. Interestingly, the report states – but doesn’t identify – other teams will voluntarily drop out from the competition also. This, of course, would make way for companies with those funds that perhaps had been waiting for the right moment to enter esports; we’re referring to the aforementioned football clubs.
It’s worth noting that all three of the teams – Arsenal, Crystal Palace, and Swansea City – already have pre-existing ties to esports in one way or another. Arsenal shareholder Stan Kroenke co-owns the Overwatch League franchise Los Angeles Gladiators, Swansea City co-owner Steve Kaplan is a minority owner of Immortals, and Crystal Palace’s owners Joshua Harris and David Blitzer acquired Team Dignitas in 2016.
Esports Insider says: It doesn’t surprise us at all – if the reports are true – that football clubs are looking to get involved with the EU LCS, especially with the amount of American sports clubs that entered the NA LCS when franchising was implemented over there. We’re interested to see if other traditional sports clubs outside of football are interested in acquiring a spot, too.