The League of Legends Championship Korea has reportedly confirmed the ten teams that will compete in the 2021 season as the league moves to a franchise model.
Coming in line with other top LoL leagues like the LEC and LCS, the LCK’s move into franchising has been on the cards for a while. This will now eliminate relegation from the LCK and teams in the Challengers Korea league can no longer get promoted.
According to Korizon, the ten teams confirmed by Riot Games include nine of the 2020 LCK participants, with only SeolHaeOne Prince not securing a franchise spot. The newcomer replacing SeolHaeOne Prince is BRION, an esports group that recently had investment from K-Pop star Kim Hee-Chul. This means that the likes of newly crowned League of Legends world champion DAMWON Gaming and Korean LoL stalwart T1 will continue to compete at the top of Korean League of Legends.
LCK’s relegation and promotion system has seen teams such as Griffin, which reached the quarter-finals of last year’s Worlds, dramatically fall from grace and find themselves stuck in the Challengers division. However, the new franchised model will add some security – for the ten teams who could afford the entry fee, at least.
Earlier this year, The Esports Observer reported the cost of the LCK’s franchise spots. Existing teams could purchase spots for $8.2 million, while newcomers like BRION will be forking out between $10 million to $12.3 million, with the final fee being calculated on how much other interest there is from external investors.
[Official] Riot Games has announced the finalised list of 10 teams for the 2021 LCK Season.
— Korizon (@KorizonEsports) November 2, 2020
With Korean League of Legends back on top as well thanks to DAMWON’s victory in Shanghai and almost all of the existing LCK teams choosing to stick around, the future is certainly optimistic and bright in the region.