The Royal Blues to enter the League of Legends European Championship

Thrilling games and frenetic commentators, sold-out stadiums and passionate fans, who enthusiastically support their team – League of Legends is its very own world, which exists away from football. But just like football, “LoL” entertains millions around the world and Schalke have been a part of the main European competition to since May 2016.

Video game developer Riot Games have made a major change to the coming season: The European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS) will become a franchise, and the format will from now on be called the League of Legends European Championship (LEC).

Two years after first entering a team into eSports, Schalke became a talking point in last season’s competition, reaching the final of the European League of Legends Championship Series. The League of Legends team at Schalke reached the final, putting a brave fight against record champions Fnatic. The team gained plenty of fans and support after their performance in the final – beyond the eSports world as well. Around 12,000 people attended the final, which took place in Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid, while around half a million watched it via a live stream.

The franchise guarantees us the financial support to be able to successful on a long-term-basis in eSports.

Alexander Jobst

For the coming season, Riot Games are turning the league into a franchise, therefore giving the League of Legends competition a new identity: There will be ten teams in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC). One of those teams will be the Royal Blues, who applied on the back of a successful run of results and with a detailed application.

In order to spread the earnings out more evenly, Riot Games have created a revenue pool. All teams in the franchise will pay into the league – and profit equally. All teams that want to take part in the LEC have to pay a set entry fee as well. Alexander Jobst, chief marketing officer at Schalke, explained: “By creating this franchise, Riot Games have created a level playing field, where we can plan more effectively and be more pro-active. The franchise guarantees us the financial support to be able to successful on a long-term-basis in eSports. One big advantage to this competition is that we can carry on our fantastic marketing work from football in the eSports world. We will carry on building upon the existing structures, personnel and competence we have established and want to carry on the good work we have been doing since May 2016. We are convinced the franchise will be successful and look forward to the upcoming season.“

What is League of Legends?

League of Legends is a competitive strategy game. Two teams, consisting of five players each, go up against each other. Regular updates mean that the eSport professionals constantly need to be flexible. The decisive factors are the tactics employed, quick reactions, co-ordination and anticipation.

The game, developed by Riot Games, is played by over 100 million gamers a month.  The viewing figures for “LoL” have trebled since 2017 – a clear signal of the ever-increasing popularity of the game.

What is a franchise?

A franchise is an organizational form of a sport competition. The model is based around partners and brands having licenses, as well as taking part in a league. The participants in the competition are also licensees of the franchise at the same time. Normally, a franchise is a closed form of organisation, meaning that there are no promotions or relegations.

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