French esports organisation Karmine Corp will join the LEC, League of Legends’ franchised competition for EMEA, in 2024 after acquiring a stake in the slot owned by Danish esports organisation Astralis.
Karmine Corp has acquired the slot by purchasing 66.67% of a newly formed subsidiary AK-Game SAS for DKK 129 million (~£15m). As a result, Astralis will still own a minority stake in the League of Legends franchise slot.
Astralis has announced, however, that the agreement contains provisions that allow the Danish organisation to trigger additional share transfers if it desires. The transfer could cede 100% of the AK-Game SAS shares to Kcorp by 2031.
As a result of the purchase, Karmine Corp will compete in the LEC under its own branding. The organisation’s French regional league (LFL) team will continue to compete in the competition, however, it will now act as an Academy team.
Astralis valued the subsidiary that owns the slot at DKK 194m (~£22.6m). In a release, the LEC has also announced that as a result of the transaction, all Astralis players will become free agents from the start of the upcoming offseason.
Founded in 2020 by popular streamers Kamel ‘Kameto’ Kebir and Zouhair ‘Kotei’ Darji, Karmine Corp is a widely popular organisation that has made a name particularly within the French esports ecosystem. Alongside League of Legends, the organisation competes in VALORANT as a VCT EMEA partner team and in Rocket League. Karmine Corp is also the current 2023 EMEA Masters Summer Champion.
Astralis becomes the latest League of Legends franchise to depart the scene by selling its slot. Earlier this year, TSM sold its North American league (LCS) franchise to Shopify Rebellion. Moreover, last season Team Heretics and KOI entered the LEC after purchasing stakes the slots from Misfits and Rogue.
Astralis announced its re-entry into the European League of Legends ecosystem in 2020 after it rebranded from Origen, one of the LEC’s inaugural partner teams.
Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA at Riot Games, commented: “Astralis has been a valued partner to us throughout its time in the LEC, and we wish the organisation the very best with its future endeavours.
“But we know its spot will be in capable hands with Karmine Corp. LEC fans have wanted to see the team in the league for some time now, which is in part, due to the incredible strength of the organisation’s brand and its loyal and passionate fan base, something that has been showcased since its entry into the EMEA Masters ecosystem.”