German football club Schalke 04 is exiting the League of Legends LEC tournament at the end of the 2021 Summer Split, the club confirmed Tuesday. The vacant slot will go to the French Team BDS, which recently placed fourth in the LFL Spring 2021.
Reports about Schalke 04 looking to sell its LEC slot surfaced back in February, with the team confirming them shortly thereafter. The Bundesliga football team has been undergoing serious financial problems, with DW writing last April that Schalke is "facing existential crisis" with their debt north of €250 million as of December last year.
"In the past months we worked very hard on many different solutions to keep Schalke committed to the LEC and fought for an alternative to this situation, but unfortunately it did not work out and we're sorry about that," writes the org in their official statement, saying it had "no other option" after suffering the COVID-19 and facing relegation in the Bundesliga.
Schalke has been in League of Legends esports since 2016, with sparse accolades. 2018 was the peak for the organization, finishing second in the Summer Split and one win away from qualifying to Worlds through the Regional Finals. Last year, the team performed the so-called "Miracle Run", which saw them recover from a terrible summer split start to finish 5th in the playoffs.
Their replacement, Team BDS, will debut in the LEC next season, fielding only LFL experience.
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