European esports organisations Rogue and KOI have officially joined forces to announce a ‘strategic alliance’ that will see KOI, owned by Ibai Lianos, compete in the LEC next year.
Very few details were disclosed in the official announcement. As such, there is no concrete information on the percentage split of the LEC franchise spot as well as the purchase amount.
According to BLIX.GG report published in August, the deal will see Rogue’s League of Legends team be rebranded at the start of the LEC’s 2023 Spring Split, however, it has not been confirmed if the team will simply go by KOI. According to multiple reports, Rogue will retain it’s management structure and opperations that is currently being used in the LEC.
In addition to the rebrand, KOI’s Co-owner Lianos will become a ‘featured ambassador’ across both organisations and their entire roster of teams. Alongside League of Legends, Rogue and KOI field rosters in VALORANT, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League and Call of Duty.
The collaboration marks the first for Infinite Reality (iR) after acquiring ReKTGlobal in July 2022. The $470m (~£419.1m) integrated all of ReKTGlobal’s esports properties into iR as the company aims to expand its presence in the esports industry.
Rogue is coming off its most successful competitive season within League of Legends, being crowned the LEC 2022 Summer Split champions. The team is currently competing at the League of Legends World Championships.
Founded in 2021 by Lianos and professional footballer Gerard Piqué, 2022 has also been fruitful for KOI. In September, the organisation became a partner team of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT). In June, it secured a partnership with data analytics firm Shikenso Analytics to monitor the performance of its existing partnerships.
Anna Baumann, Executive Vice President of Esports at Infinite Reality, spoke on the alliance: “Having established Rogue as a world-leading talent factory with championship-winning teams, we could not be more thrilled to be working with KOI.”
“With this alliance, we can up the game and serve our fans even more industry-leading entertaining content, all while continuing to build Ibai’s legacy in esports.”
KOI becomes the second organisation to join the LEC in 2023. Earlier this year, fellow Spanish organisation Team Heretics purchased Misfits Gaming’s slot in the European competition.