RFRSH Entertainment co-founder Jakob Lund Kristensen has revealed why the company bought Origen to act as its team in the newly-renamed League of Legends European Championship (LEC).
The LEC is the evolution of the European LCS, which is moving to a franchise model for the 2019 season and beyond.
The rebrand and the ten teams holding franchise spots were recently announced, and it was revealed that Origen would be returning to the league, having been bought by Astralis owners RFRSH Entertainment.
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When reports of RFRSH’s involvement originally surfaced, it was presumed by many that this would mean the Astralis brand was branching out beyond CS:GO for the first time, especially considering the immense success the organization has enjoyed in 2018.
In an interview with French sports site lequipe.fr, however, Kristensen revealed that RFRSH had always intended to keep their League of Legends venture separate from the CS:GO-based Astralis.
“No, we did not apply with Astralis. From the beginning it was very clear for us: we wanted two different brands. In my opinion, having a team present on several games makes things difficult if you want to build a story. When two people cross in the street with an Astralis jersey, I want them to know that they are fans of the same team. Before Origen we thought to create something from A to Z. We developed several ideas and a first application was filed with Riot Games with another brand. And then I discussed LCS with Enrique "xPeke" Cedeño Martinez, whom I know well. When I told him I was hoping to see Origen again, he said they would not come back. He told me that the investors had withdrawn. The connection between us was made naturally.”
Though Astralis and Origen will remain as separate entities, the connection between the two is apparent in the new Origen logo, which has been updated with a star to match the one that is also central to the Astralis logo.
Origen was founded by legendary mid-laner xPeke in 2015. In the same year, the team made its way through Challenger into the EU LCS for the Summer Split, finishing second there before going to the World Championship and reaching the semi-finals.
After an immensely successful debut year, however, the team began a gradual decline, ultimately being relegated from the LCS and experienced some organizational issues, including troubles paying staff and players.
In an interview with Dexerto, Kristensen stated that they would be starting from scratch with Origen, but applying the lessons learnt from the success of Astralis.
“We are starting completely from scratch in the sense of Origen but not in the sense of RFRSH Entertainment. Lead by the strong teams across both sports performance, lead by Kasper Hvidt, and also commercial, communication and team operations we have created a best in class infrastructure. This model has already been proved itself effective with Astralis and will do so now with Origen.”
The LEC is set to kick off on January 18. So far, Origen have officially signed three players to their roster:
- Barney ‘Alphari’ Morris
- Erlen ‘Nukeduck’ Våtevik Holm
- Patrick ‘Sheriff’ Jírů