EXCLUSIVE: Vivo Keyd Stars returns to CBLOL, acquires Miners franchise spot

Vivo Keyd Stars
Image credit: Vivo Keyd Stars

Brazilian esports organisation Vivo Keyd Stars has purchased Miners‘ franchise spot for the Brazilian League of Legends Championship (CBLOL).

The information was confirmed to Esports Insider by Vivo Keyd Stars’ President, Pedro Schmidt, and Vice-President Edu Kim.

According to learnings by Esports Insider from a separate source, the total cost of the spot is approximately $2m (~£1.66m). However, this hasn’t been confirmed by Vivo Keyd Stars or Miners. This is more than the $750,000 (~£620,000) estimated figure that Miners paid Riot Games for the franchise place in 2020.

Schmidt and Kim confirmed that Stars Horizon had an agreement with Miners prior to officialising its merger with Vivo Keyd to form Vivo Keyd Stars, a fact first published by the Brazilian website ge. The agreement was finalised at the end of August/beginning of September.

In the week the merger was announced, CEO Hugo Tristão was interviewed on Twitch by Esports Insider. By then, he strongly hinted that the organisation would appear in the League of Legends scene in the upcoming seasons.

Structurally, Kim assures that Vivo Keyd Stars’ gaming house in São Paulo was already built with the intent of supporting a League of Legends team in it and no new facilities will need to be built.

Regarding the organisation’s esports aspirations, Kim stated his long-term strategy to build a ‘legacy’, however, he reiterated that ‘Keyd does not enter tournaments just to participate’, indicating that the organisation could chase the CBLOL title as soon as possible. The amount to be invested, including the franchise fee and its academy team, is estimated at R$12m (~£1.85m) over the next 2 years.

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In August, Esports Insider had already confirmed that Miners was indeed willing to sell its CBLOL spot and was in advanced negotiations for it. Keyd is also not the only new team appearing in the franchise in the next season. Esports organisation Fluxo also acquired the spot previously held by Rensga Esports.

The 2023 CBLOL season will also have Los Grandes dropping its ‘Flamengo’ tag as the licensing deal with the football club Clube de Regatas do Flamengo ends by the beginning of 2023 and will not be renewed. The agreement was inked by the Brazilian branch of Simplicity Esports in 2020, which was bought by Los Grandes in June 2022.

Vivo Keyd returns to CBLOL after a two-year absence. Despite being a traditional team in the League of Legends scene, it was left out of the franchise by Riot Games in 2020.

Miners leaves the league after collecting a few controversies: first when it terminated its brand licensing deal with football club Cruzeiro in March 2021 and then when the parent company of its naming sponsor Netshoes bought e-commerce platform KaBuM!, the owner of fellow CBLOL team KaBuM! Esports. This forced the name to be switched from ‘Netshoes Miners’ to only ‘Miners’.

The organisation continues competing as Netshoes Miners in Free Fire, EA Sports FIFA and Honor of Kings.

Victor Frascarelli, Journalist
Victor Frascarelli is a Brazilian esports business journalist focused on the LATAM market. Previously at The Esports Observer for two years, Victor enjoys all things competitive, from League of Legends to football to chess to CS:GO.