The League of Legends Championship Korea (LCK) has found at least one top team interested in a move to a franchise format as Gen.G reportedly will put in an application to participate, VentureBeat reported Monday.
Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, already announced its intention to have LCK franchises for the 2021 season. Currently, the league has a promotion and relegation system, but it is moving toward a model already adapted in the China, Europe and North America regions.
Activision Blizzard has moved to the franchise model with the Overwatch League and the new Call of Duty League. City-based teams, such as those in Overwatch, are quickly developing a loyal local following.
“We think League of Legends will be the most viewed sport in the world,” Gen.G CEO Chris Park said, according to VentureBeat. “(South) Korea is just a really interesting opportunity, as it is the birthplace of esports in the world. It is the strongest national player base in the world.”
Gen.G, which originated in South Korea, won the League of Legends world championship in 2017, when it was then known as Samsung Galaxy. In the LCK spring split, Gen.G came in first place with a 14-4 record, but they wound up getting split 3-0 by T1 in the spring playoff final on Saturday.
—Field Level Media