German football giant FC Schalke 04 has just confirmed what many already suspected – that they would cut back on their LoL esports commitment. In fact, it’s not just that – the club is leaving LoL entirely, which is bad news for Schalke 04 fans that enjoy League of Legends betting. To this end, they’ve slapped a price tag onto their LEC slot – for a cool 30 million €, a hopeful team can buy themselves a spot in the franchise.
It’ll be in time for the 2022 season. This move isn’t entirely out of nowhere – the club is in severe financial troubles and has actually suffered some setbacks even in its main football angle, where it was downgraded to the second division after 30 years in the first one. It’s a major blow – and with the Covid-19 situation, income is more sparse than ever.
Schalke 04’s League of Legends slot is one of the casualties of their issues. This is despite the fact that in the LEC rankings, their team has always performed well, ranking highly in events ever since the inaugural 2019 season. Still, that can’t stack up against the millions in debt that the club had racked up during the Covid crisis, which they revealed in February this year. Specifically, some 219 million are owed.
It was a tough year for many industries, so their struggles are definitely understandable – and likely, the loss of their esports section won’t be the only cutback they’ll be forced to make. For now though, it is – and while details are yet to be confirmed, fans will have to enjoy the Summer Split as the last LEC event featuring Schalke 04.
Assuming the LEC sale goes through at the price that Schalke 04 is hoping for, they would actually be making a significant amount of money. Their initial investment, the buy-in in 2019 is estimated to only be around 8 million €. Of course, getting some 30 million for their slot would also help their overall financial situation – but not that of their players. If the patterns of other recent LEC slot transfers are followed, the players on the roster won’t return for next season.
Both OpTic to Immortals and Echo Fox to Evil Geniuses saw complete team overhauls. Of course, it’s still too soon to actually be able to say – so far, no credible suggestions have been made on who might buy the LEC slot. Potential buyers include Karmine Corp and Giants Gaming, but as the official announcement has only just been made, it’s far too soon to be able to say. The timing of the deal is a little unfortunate, since there are only days to go before the start of the Summer Split of the LEC.
It will likely also have ramifications for the Summer Split’s LEC betting activity – news like this and a potential imminent team reshuffle (or dismissal) could easily affect performance and thus the LEC odds in the upcoming event.