LCK To Introduce Long-Term Partnerships In 2021

League of Legends Champions Korea will adopt a franchise model similar to that of the LCS, LEC, and LPL, Riot Korea revealed earlier this week. The premier Korean league features some of the best teams in League of Legends, including T1, Gen.G, and DragonX.

The Chinese League of Legends Pro League (LPL) was the first professional league to adopt the franchising model. The LPL’s restructuring included the introduction of home and away games, and allowed the league to expand to now host 17 teams. The North American LCS adopted the model for the 2018 season, and the European LEC did the same in 2019.

To secure an LCK franchise spot, teams are required to submit an application prior to June 19th, 2020, outlining their business, team management, and financial plans for the upcoming season. Teams will then undergo a review process, where a “certain number” of teams will be selected as potential candidates. The LCK will conduct an in-depth interview with representatives from the applying organizations, where they will decide who is a good fit for the league.

As part of their long-term deal, the partnered teams will be included in the league’s revenue share. A cut of media, merchandise, and sponsorship revenue will go towards teams, and the players will receive a minimum $49,000 USD yearly salary.

The selection process is expected to last until August, with the full list of partnered teams being announced in September. The LCK will fully transition to the franchise model with the start of the 2021 Spring Split.

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