21 Organizations Reportedly Applied To Join Franchised League Champions Korea in 2021

21 Organizations Reportedly Applied To Join Franchised League Champions Korea in 2021
Credit: Image via Riot Games

The LCK is moving to a franchised format starting in 2021, Riot Games announced in April. And now, 21 teams have applied to join the league, according to Korean esports news website Korizon.

All of the League of Legends teams from the current LCK and Challengers Korea series, except for Griffin, have reportedly applied. This means Riot might have a tough time deciding who to choose for the franchised LCK. Some popular organizations might not be initially accepted, similar to what happened when Europe and North America transitioned to a franchised format.

Here’s the list of teams that reportedly applied for franchising:

  1. T1
  2. Gen.G
  3. DRX
  4. Damwon Gaming
  5. KT Rolster
  6. Afreeca Freecs
  7. SeolHaeOne Prince
  8. Hanwha Life Esports
  9. Team Dynamics
  10. Sandbox Gaming
  11. ESC Shane
  12. Speargaming
  13. Element Mystic
  14. OZ Gaming
  15. Jin Air Greenwings
  16. Runaway
  17. Gamer Republic, Inc.
  18. Omaken Sports
  19. World Game Star
  20. WDG
  21. Treasure Hunter/KnightsGG

Two major esports organizations, FaZe Clan and NRG, reportedly decided not to apply after submitting letters of intent in May, according to Korean news outlet Fomos.

Griffin, on the other hand, has gone through a rough year. The organization was involved in a lot of drama and parted ways with most staff toward the end of the Spring Split after being relegated. While some people in the League community expected them to come back and apply for the franchised LCK in an effort to get their redemption arc, this might spell the end of Griffin instead.

Riot said in April that its goal with this move to franchising is to “strengthen LCK’s competency and ultimately create a more satisfying experience for all participants of the league.”

As a part of the format change, LCK organizations will be required to pay all players at least 60 million Korean won, or about $49,000, per year.

T1 and Gen.G will most likely be instantly accepted considering how popular and their contribution to the region. T1 (previously known as SK Telecom T1 or SKT T1) is a South Korean esports team operated by the T1 Entertainment & Sports, a joint venture between SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor. At the end of 2003, SK Telecom took the StarCraft Team Orion (formerly 4U) by Lim Yo-hwan under contract and set up the team under the conglomerate’s banner. Lim Yo-hwan took the role of team captain.SKT’s League of Legends team has won the 2013, 2015, and 2016 editions of the League of Legends World Championships.

It’s going to be interesting if Riot will expand the number of teams in LCK.