Riot Korea confirms ten team shortlist for 2021 LCK franchise spots

LCK

With the LCK moving to franchising next season, Riot Korea has announced the ten finalists for the 2021 spots. These ten finalists are comprised of nine existing LCK teams, as well as Brion Esports, according to Korizon’s Ashley Kang. Five reserves have also been confirmed in case negotiations with any of the current ten fall through.

Brion Esports is the biggest surprise on the list, especially given the popularity of the reserve teams, but a quick inspection of the team’s books tells you all you need to know. The team is part owned South Korean K-Pop star Kim Hee-Chul, the Super Junior member. His attachment to Brion Esports gives them star power the LCK could be looking to tap into as they move into franchising.

SANDBOX Gaming, Afreeca Freecs, DAMWON Gaming, KT Rolster, Team Dynamics, Hanwha Life Esports, DRX, Gen.G, and T1 complete the current lineup, although with reserves in the wings, this is not the official lineup.

SeolHaeOne Prince, Element Mystic, Jin Air Greenwings, Awesome Spear, and OZ Gaming are these reserves in question, and judging by the Twitter replies, JAG is the one team in particular fans are hoping will sneak into the final 10 somehow.

“In 2021, we plan to implement the long-term partnership model in LCK to create an environment where fans, players, and teams can form a long-term relationship,” Riot Korea has previously said of the switch to franchising. “With this change, we plan to strengthen LCK’s competency and ultimately create a more satisfying experience for all participants of the league.”