The hammer of judgement is coming down team by team in the professional League of Legends circuit in North America, as Riot releases the results of the application process for the 2018 season, which ended this past July. Earlier, ESPN’s Jacob Wolf reported that the application for Team Dignitas was rejected. Today, Wolf reported that applications for Phoenix1 and Team EnVyUs were rejected as well.
NA League of Legends in 2018
The NA LCS is set to look very different in 2018, with the return to best of one matches and the new franchise system completely in place. But while the format will be different, reports indicate that the teams and organizations could also exhibit quite a few changes.
Team Dignitas, Phoenix1, and Team EnVyUs have now each been rejected from the 10 possible spots in the NA LCS for 2018. Outgoing teams will be compensated, as per the transition outline from Riot, for their spots in the league depending on how long they have participated. That means the most compensation so far goes to Team Dignitas, who participated in the first LCS season in 2013. Phoenix1 and Team EnVyUs both became teams in the NA LCS in the Summer of 2016.
There are a handful of teams whose spots in the NA LCS in 2018 seem indisputable, based on their performance and legacy in the region, as well as the sheer strength of their organizations. Those are likely Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, Cloud9, and Immortals. Despite poor recent performances, Team Liquid is a well-established esports organization with a strong commitment to the game as well. If you assume those teams will be accepted, that leaves FlyQuest and Echo Fox still to be determined.
Although neither Riot nor any of the current NA LCS teams have announced that their applications have been accepted, Wolf was able to report last week that Joe and Kirk Lacob, majority owner and general manager, respectively, of the Golden State Warriors, have been accepted into the NA LCS as a new team.
The announcement leaves plenty of enticing players without teams for 2018. Spring Split MVP Arrow, promising rookies MikeYeung and Nisqy, as well as Ssumday and lirA were all members of the rejected teams. A glance at the Global Contracts Database, however, shows that several of those players’ contracts could have ended later this year anyway.