Riot Games Announces North American Roster
League of Legends North American teams announced by Riot Games.
Riot Games has officially announced the 10 teams selected for the “League of Legends” North American League Championship Series. This is a permanent roster of ten teams, 4 of which are backed and owned by NBA teams, located in the North American region and starting in 2018.
Choosing the teams was a year long process by Riot Games, broken up into two phases. First the applicants were broken down into a more manageable list, then a series of in-person meetings were held to better understand the team owners’ philosophies and willingness to invest in a longer franchise and grow their fan bases.
The ten teams selected to compete in the “League of Legends” North American League Championship are:
100 Thieves is a new team to the league, founded by Call of Duty champion Matthew “Nadeshot” Hagg. The team has received an investment by the Cleveland Cavaliers and venture-capital firms Detroit Venture Partners and Ludlow Ventures.
Cloud9 is one of the biggest teams in this roster, having represented North American at the League of Legends World Championships every year since 2013. From the first day, Cloud9 has been a big hit with the fans, rising quickly through the ranks with their solid placings. Most notably Cloud9 is said to have "dethroned" TSM as the reigning team in North America.
A new team to the league, Clutch Gaming, is named after the Houston basketball team located in the same city as their esports venue – Houston Rockets. Based on the championship winning NBA season in 1994 Clutch Gaming hopes to bring the same level of success to League of Legends.
Counter Logic Gaming
In 2016, Counter Logic Gaming won the North American Championships and were runners-up in the MSI. They have been a long-running competitor in the North American League Championship Series. CLG has always been a strong team, but due to a lack of investment, their fans were worried that the team would be unable to move into the NA LCS franchise. Thanks to a new investment agreement with Madison Square Garden Co the team was able to make it into the draw.
Echo Fox is an esports team founded by former NBA all-star Rick Fox in 2016. The largest shareholder of Echo Fox is the New York Yankees, who only last month made the big investment.
The team is generally seen as average, placing low- to mid-tier in results. A quiet season from Echo Fox has lead to a new 10 man roster which should be revealed soon.
FlyQuest was established at the beginning of the 2017 North American League Championship Series season. The team was formed and backed by Wes Edens, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
No one expected FlyQuest to make it into the roster, beating out some huge name teams to do so. FlyQuest is known for containing a number of original Cloud9 members and picking up their older fanbase to boot. Like Echo Fox, they have a new roster lined up but have been quiet about it so far.
A team brand new to the league and owned by the Golden State Warriors. This is the second team owned/affiliated with the Golden State Warriors in the League. Hopefully, the Golden Guardians will be able to capture the success of the Warriors in the NBA.
OpTic Gaming is another team new to the league from an organisation which specialises in first person shooter esports. With their expertise in other esports games and history of winning OpTic Gaming, they will be bringing a level of professionalism to the League. Their fanbase is commonly known as the Green Wall.
Team Liquid (TL)
One of the original esports teams, Team Liquid is one to watch in the roster. Founded in 2000 Team Liquid was recently acquired by owners of NBA teams Golden State Warriors, Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards and management group aXiomatic.
While the team has been having a bad year, placing ninth in the NA LCS splits, they were saved by their big name investor Disney. Disney made an enormous investment in the team which has allowed them to reinvent their roster and possibly make a comeback in 2018.
TSM (Team SoloMid)
TSM is a seasoned esports team, being the only team in the entire roster to have attended every Legends World Championship and appear in every North American League Championship Series finals. The team boasts a record of six NA LCS championship wins. Some fans consider TSM to be the kings of North America.
However, the honour of being chosen by Riot Games does not come cheap, with each team having to put forward US$10 million each to cover franchise fees to Riot Games. The teams that are new to the region and League also contributed a further US$3 million as a “parachute payment” for the teams which were not included in the draw.
In return for this investment, players are able to enjoy a new salary of US$75,000 SD each. Investors will be able to fund teams without worrying about their team being knocked out due to the permanent roster. This will allow players and coaches a new level of stability with stable careers and may bring the North American league’s performance to that of South Korea.
The North American League will start in 2018 and we will be covering all news as it comes out. For more info on League of Legends and esports have a look at our esports hub.
For the latest competitive news in Australia, head over to our esports home.
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