German football club Schalke 04 has confirmed that it has sold its spot in the League of Legends European Championship to French esports organisation Team BDS. Schalke 04 has suggested at various points throughout 2021 that it would have to sell its spot in the LEC to generate revenue, with the football club in a poor financial situation following its relegation from the top flight of German football.
According to a statement by Schalke, Team BDS has purchased its franchise spot for €26.5 million, which equates to roughly $31.5 million. Schalke, as expected, will play out the rest of the 2021 season, with Team BDS replacing it for the start of the 2022 season.
While the LEC sale has now gone through, Schalke is yet to decide whether it will completely shut down its esports arm, as the club still has an academy League of Legends team in the Prime League, and players competing in FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer esports. Schalke says “many more talks” with decision makers will be held in the coming months regarding the future of these teams.
The contracts of all but one of its LEC players (Ilias ‘NUCLEARINT’ Bizriken) expire at the end of the 2021 season, but the contracts of some of Schalke’s backroom staff are longer.
— Schalke 04 Esports (@S04Esports) June 29, 2021
According to Dot Esports, Team BDS has expressed interest in potentially retaining some of Schalke’s support staff to assist them in its first LEC season.
Currently, Team BDS fields a team in the French LFL regional league, and also has representation in FIFA, Valorant, Rainbow Six Siege, Rocket League, Fortnite, and Trackmania.