Riot Turkey announces franchise model for TCL’s 2019 season

The Turkish region has now joined North America and Europe in adopting a franchise system for League of Legends’ 2019 Turkish Champions League. The announcement states the new model will be similar to the system the North American League Championship Series has implementing. 

Currently, the TCL is a play-in region with an eight-team format, quadruple round robin league and playoffs at the end of each season. Winners of each season advance to the play-in group of either the Mid-Season Invitational or The World Championship. At the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational SuperMassive esports went 5-1 in group stages and finished 7th/8th overall.

SuperMassive esports at the 2018 Mid-Season Invitational.
Credit: Riot Games

Heading into the 2019 season the TCL will expand to 10 teams. Organizations that join the league will have a permanent partnership for the first three years and will then be re-evaluated to continue participation in the league. The TCL will also start an academy league to replace its promotion league. Each franchised team will be required to have a secondary team that will compete in the academy league to provide for the next wave of talent.

There’s been no announcement of how much a buy-in for each spot will be yet. The price to enter the NA LCS ranges between $10m(£7.5m) and $13m(£9.7m) and is similar for the EU LCS depending on past participation in League of Legends esports.

Applications for TCL partnerships open June 20th and close on August 20th after which Riot will review and announce the new teams entering the league on November 15th.

Esports Insider says: Riot seems to have full faith in its franchise model with North America adopting the format just this year and Europe starting in the 2019 season also. While this format in the North American and European region makes sense it’s interesting to see it be adopted in a “minor” region like Turkey. But looking at the ratio of players in Turkey and seeing a Turkish team finishing 7th/8th at MSI it is impressive to see the potential of the region to become a strong competitor especially now with Riots support.