Cash-strapped European football giants FC Schalke 04 have confirmed plans to exit League of Legends esports, and slapped a €30m price tag on their LEC franchise slot ahead of the 2022 season. Rumor has it that Team BDS will replace them.
With the ongoing global health situation, football clubs across the world have been hit hard financially. This is no more evident than with Bundesliga titans Schalke 04, who were relegated to the second division this season, after 30 consecutive years in the top flight.
As a result, the club has been looking to raise funds wherever it can find them, and the club’s LoL division is set to be a major casualty of their financial struggles.
After becoming a founding franchise partner in 2019, Schalke has gone on to become one of the LEC’s most consistent performers, finishing third in the 2019 Summer Playoffs and fourth in 2021 Spring.
The European org is now in the twilight of its League of Legends story, however.
This exit plan has now been confirmed; Sky Sports Germany’s Dirk Schlarmann revealed on June 14 (via translation) that the European organization “has now publicly confirmed [they] have to part with sports.” This was announced by Schalke manager Alexander Jobst at the club’s end-of-season general meeting.
As mentioned by BILD, Schalke will be making a considerable profit on its LEC slot: up to €22m on its original €8m investment in 2019.
Schalke spielt Monopoly und muss wegen hoher Mieten die Schlossallee verkaufen#S04 wird die eSports-Lizenz für die #LOL-Liga LEC an einen Investor für 30 Mio verkaufen. Gewinn: 22 Mio. Bitter: Der Wert der Lizenz wäre in Zukunft stark gestiegen.
Mehr Infos dazu bei BILD
— Max Backhaus (@m_bocuse) June 4, 2021
According to Spanish esports talk show, Esportmaníacos, LFL squad Team BDS are set to take Schalke’s LEC spot. The team switchover will occur next year just in time for the LEC Spring Split.
💰 "Han PAGADO 30 MILLONES de EUROS"
— ESPORTMANÍACOS (@Esportmaniacos) June 16, 2021
This deal comes at a crucial point for Schalke as an organization. As BILD notes, the club owes €217m in debt and has seen potential revenue sources fall through, such as the touted £18m permanent transfer of Turkish defender Ozan Kabak to Liverpool.
Either way, FC Schalke 04’s time in the LEC is over, with a new League of Legends organization set to enter the European fray.