The German football club Schalke 04 could end up selling their place in the League of Legends European Championships as a consequence of the current state of the organization’s economic issues in the Bundesliga.
According to Paul Arrivé of L’Equipe Shalke 04 had a debt of around 200 million euros even before the pandemic began. Now that we are early a year into the ongoing pandemic, it is estimated that the debt has only increased. Facing reduced tick sales, a pandemic, and possible relegation to the 2nd Bundesliga due to poor effort in the current season, they are looking to recoup at least some money to face the issues ahead of them.
The LEC is one of the biggest LoL esports events in Europe. Featuring 10 teams from across Europe, the League of European Championship (LEC) holds two international titles (2019 MSI, 2011 Worlds) and represents the highest level of LoL Esports talent in Europe. It is unsurprising that they believe that a place in the event could sell for that much money.
According to the announcement from their Twitter account:
“For those of you that are unaware, the corona situation has heavily affected sports clubs globally, as fans are fans being unable to go to the stadium means that a main driver or revenue is missing as of right now. Additionally, we’re currently in one of the most difficult times since the existence of the football club in terms of competitive success in the Bundesliga, being last in the standings.
“Due to having to face a possible relegation to the 2nd Bundesliga and not knowing when fans will be able to come back to the stadium, the club needs to look into all options to secure additional funding.
“We’re currently in the process of evaluating different options that the club can take depending on the circumstances it’ll find itself in by the end of this Bundesliga season. This includes, but is not limited to, selling the LEC slot to an interested buyer However, no decision has been made as of right now, and the club getting relegated doesn’t necessarily force us to sell the slot.
“It’s important to note that the club does not want or have to sell the LEC slot, as everyone has seen the incredible growth and long-term benefits of being able to compete in this incredible league. But there are possible future scenarios in which this move would be necessary to strengthen the core business football and we have to be prepared for that.”
The announcement claims that they are not planning to sell the LEC slot at the moment but it is clear that the financial issues facing the club could force them to sell. Some have backed up the claim that they are not planning to sell and are hoping for an angel investor to bring them out of their financial crisis, but it seems that it is too little, too late.
There is no telling at this point how it will affect betting in League of Legends as we do not know what team Riot Games will recruit to fill the open slot.