Royal Blues to earn 26,5 Mio. euros from sale of LEC slot

FC Schalke 04 has made the decision to sell the starting place in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) to the Swiss esports organisation Team BDS for a total sum of 26,5 Mio. euros. The transfer of license rights will come into force in the spring season 2022. After four years, the Royal Blues are withdrawing from the top European League of Legends competition. The decision on the continuation of the involvement in the football simulations FIFA and PES as well as in the League of Legends Prime League is still pending.

“With our commitment to electronic sports, S04 has long held a leading position. As one of the first football clubs worldwide, we recognized the unique potential of esports and therefore made a far-sighted strategic decision in May 2016. Over the past five years we have gradually developed Schalke 04 into an establishment within electronic sports – in League of Legends, FIFA and PES. From an economic point of view, esports is one of our business areas with the greatest growth. The fact that it is now contributing significantly to S04’s core business football is of enormous importance to us,” explains Alexander Jobst, Member of the Board for of Marketing, Sales and Organization at FC Schalke 04, and continues: “In recent years, we have been able to convince numerous partners and sponsors of our commitment. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of them for the trust they have placed in us and for the excellent cooperation. Special thanks also go to the employees who have contributed with great zeal and dedication to the sustainable success of our efforts in esports – above all the management of FC Schalke 04 Esports GmbH, Claudio Kasper and Tim Reichert.”

From an economic point of view, esports is one of our business areas with the greatest growth. The fact that it is now contributing significantly to S04's core business football is of enormous importance to us.

Alexander Jobst

“The economic effects of the corona pandemic and the missing success regarding the sporting goals in the core business in the 2020/2021 season made the decision necessary”, explains Claudio Kasper, Managing Director of FC Schalke 04 Esports GmbH. “With the far-sighted investment in the franchise from game developer Riot Games, we acquired an asset in 2018 that has increased in value enormously in a very short time. The general economic conditions for the club have changed drastically in the past few months. After careful consideration, we came to the joint decision to dispose of the existing asset that esports inevitably offers in order to redeem urgently needed funds for the stabilization of the core business. Even if the decision to sell our slot was certainly difficult for us, first and foremost we can be proud of the pioneering work of the past few years. From that we all can see that the courage to make consistent, strategic decisions is rewarded and that sustainable implementation pays off.”

Even if the decision to sell our slot was certainly difficult for us, first and foremost we can be proud of the pioneering work of the past few years.

Dr. Claudio Kasper

Tim Reichert, Managing Director of FC Schalke 04 Esports GmbH, also proudly looks at the work of the past few years: “We have achieved something great with esports at Schalke. Our entry into League of Legends was viewed critically from many sides, but we were able to prove early on how future-oriented our commitment ultimately was. On behalf of the management, I would like to thank Team BDS for their trust and, of course, Riot Games for their highly professional support throughout the entire sales process.” Tim Reichert, who has overseen S04’s esports division since 2016, refers to the upcoming season in the LEC and comments on the future of electronic sports at Schalke: “The license will be transferred with the spring season 2022. We will give our very best in the Summer Split to say goodbye to the LEC in a proper way. The decision to withdraw from the top European League of Legends competition will certainly mean a significant incision in
Schalke’s esports activities in the long term. After an intensive sales process, the club can now focus on the question of how to proceed with the football simulations and the League of Legends Prime League spot. In addition, talks are held with organizers, sponsors and partners to exchange ideas about a possible joint future.”

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