On the 28th (KST), Riot Games announced 10 preferred teams for the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) franchising. The expected teams such as T1, Gen.G, etc were on the list while SeolHaeOne Prince was excluded among the LCK teams. In their place, hyFresh Blade from Challengers Korea was included.
In April, Riot Games announced that the LCK will be franchised starting from 2021. Starting in July, they had first and second evaluations. In the first documental evaluation, Gamer Republic was excluded. Riot Games invited experts for fairness and evaluated each organizations’ marketing, management, future plans, and business to select 10 preferred teams.
However, this list isn’t final. The negotiations with the preferred teams begin on September 9 and the final teams will be announced in mid-October. The final teams for the 2021 LCK franchising may change according to the negotiations. If there are teams that don’t reach final agreements, the next negotiations will be progressed in order of the waitlist.
Riot Games commented on why they decided to have 10 teams for the initial LCK franchising, “At the start of a franchising model, the most important thing is to have a stable base for the participating teams”, and added the possibility of expanding the league into 12 teams, “if the market is expanded and the league gains a stable profit model, we will be positively discussing the expansion into 12 teams”.
The 10 preferred teams are as follows.
Brion Esports - CK hyFresh Blade
SANDBOX Gaming - LCK SANDBOX Gaming
Afreeca Freecs - LCK Afreeca Freecs
ADE Sports - LCK DAMWON Gaming
KT Sports - LCK kt Rolster
Team Dynamics - LCK Team Dynamics
Hanwha Life Insurance - LCK Hanwha Life Esports
DRX - LCK DRX
Gen.G esports - LCK Gen.G
SK Telecom CS - LCK T1
The waitlist is as follows.
1. APE Sports - LCK SeolHaeOne Prince
2. Bigpicture Gaming - CK Element Mystic
3. Sema Esports - CK Jin Air Green Wings
4. Sono Hotel and Resort - CK Awesome Spear
5. Optimumzone Esports - CK OZ Gaming