RunAway Plans To Bid For A 2021 Korean League Champions Korea CK Franchise Spot

RunAway Plans To Bid For A 2021 Korean League Champions Korea CK Franchise Spot
Credit: Image via Riot Games

Many esports fans are familiar with RunAway as one of the most successful Overwatch teams in the Korean scene. But now, the organization is taking on a new challenge by announcing its intentions to apply for a franchise spot in the LCK for 2021.

Although RunAway has had a ton of success in Overwatch esports, the organization has yet to find a handle on the League of Legends scene. The team originally entered competitve League in November 2019 when it tried to qualify for Challengers Korea.

RunAway’s roster—featuring names like Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong and Kim “Crush” Jun-seo—wasn’t able to achieve most of their goals. Although they won both of their games during the bracket, they eventually fell to another Korean Challenger team, Nine Tale.

After failing to qualify, the team’s original roster was disbanded a month later. This past April, however, RunAway closed a sponsorship deal with CK team Asura. Full control of the team will be handed over to RunAway’s management for the 2020 CK Summer Split.

Asura hasn’t been too successful during its short stint in Korea’s Challenger circuit. They haven’t finished above fifth place and they even finished the 2020 CK Spring Split in eighth with an abysmal 3-11 record. RunAway’s management will need to try its best to keep the team from dropping out of the tournament.

Last month, the LCK announced its plans to franchise the league for 2021. Teams like RunAway will need to submit an application before Friday, June 19. A formal review process of all applicants will then take place for the next two months before Riot announces its final selection of partnered teams in September.

Some teams which are used to seeing might not be accepted into the franchised LCK, so while we are used to the same teams showing up, it’s unlikely they’ll remain in the franchised LCK. All teams in the current LCK said that they’ll be applying for a spot including some Challengers Korea teams. While LEC and LCS did not change the number of teams participating after franchising, LPL did and raised the bar to 17 teams.

The franchised leagues are much more stable and the average salary increased so this is a huge benefit for the organizations which are investing in the region and want a divided later on. While we will no longer see teams as Griffin, Damwon Gaming who come into the League and stomp it and show what rookies are made of, in the long term this is better for the region. Stay tuned for more information in the upcoming weeks.