League of Legends

FaZe Clan and NRG reportedly looking to buy LoL franchise for LCK 2021

by Andrew Amos
Riot Games / FaZe Clan / NRG Esports

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North American giants FaZe Clan are reportedly looking to make their first foray into League of Legends through Korea, as the organization is allegedly in talks to buy a franchise in the LCK for 2021. NRG Esports is also looking to make a return after disbanding in 2016.

One of esports’ most recognizable brands could finally be branching out into League of Legends.

FaZe Clan is reportedly looking to buy into the LCK for the 2021 season and beyond, submitting a letter of interest to Riot Games. NRG Esports has also been touted as another major international team looking to join the league.

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ELEAGUE
FaZe Clan is looking to extend its successes in other titles to League of Legends.

According to a report by Korean news site Fomos, 25 teams have submitted a letter of interest in joining the LCK in 2021. The Korean League of Legends tournament is moving to a franchised format next year ⁠— the last major league to do so.

Only 10 slots are available in the league. All 10 LCK teams, and eight CK teams have reportedly filed a letter of interest to Riot Korea about joining the regional league.

Some other Korean esports teams, like World Game Star, have also shown interest.

Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch fan-favorites RunAway are also looking to join the LCK.

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FaZe Clan, the Pittsburgh Knights, and NRG Esports are three big international names that have thrown their hat in the mix. The former two have never fielded a League of Legends roster since the game’s release in 2009.

NRG formerly had a roster in the NA LCS back in 2016. They only played two splits in the top flight, finishing fifth in Spring 2016, before being relegated after Summer 2016. They then sold their NACS slot to Gold Coin United.

Riot Games
NRG's former League of Legends roster disbanded in 2016.

It is unclear how much the franchise slots in Korea are worth, but it’s set to be in the millions. LCS franchises were sold for over $10 million back when they swapped formats in 2017, however, recent sales ⁠— like the Echo Fox one ⁠— have been upwards of $35 million.

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According to Fomos’ report, 62% of LCK’s viewership stems from overseas markets, making it an ideal choice for organizations like FaZe Clan to extend their reach.

Submitting a letter of interest doesn’t guarantee FaZe Clan, NRG, or any of the other teams a spot in the LCK for 2021. Teams will be vetted by Riot Korea before being accepted into the league.

FaZe Clan currently fields teams in Fortnite, Call of Duty, CS:GO, PUBG, Rainbow Six, and FIFA. NRG has rosters in Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Smash.