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EU LCS will not franchise in 2018

The EU LCS will not franchise in 2018, following Riot Games' announcement of changes to the NA LCS.
The European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS) will not franchise in 2018, following Riot Games' announcement of changes to the NA LCS. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.

Riot Games announced Thursday the organizational shift to a franchise model in the North American League of Legends Championship Series next year, though those changes will not happen for EU LCS teams.

Riot’s European branch released a statement Thursday saying in spite of impending changes in North American and China, it will not at this time change its structure.

“Recently, China and North America announced plans to move to a model where organizations become permanent partners with the league,” the statement read. “We wanted to let you know the EU LCS will not be moving to a pan-European franchise model at this point, and give you some insight as to why. Europe is a large and uniquely diverse region that spans multiple countries, cultures and ecosystems. While this can be challenging, it is also a great opportunity. We are excited to further explore ways to deepen and strengthen our competitive ecosystem to benefit the many talented players, organizations and fans from all over Europe.

“We’ll be back later on this year with more information around our plans for Europe.”

The NA LCS will feature 10 teams and cost $10 million per team starting next year. Riot’s announcement for the NA LCS also included the introduction of a new use of the Challenger Series and the implementation of a formal players union.

Europe is not the only region to resist structural changes to its league, at least for now. Riot Games Korea officials told Slingshot last month there were no plans to franchise League Champions Korea “in the short term.” It will be interesting to see how the mix of franchised and un-franchised regions plays out next year with regards to player movement and region preference.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games

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