Schalke 04 Esports have reached an agreement to sell their League of Legends European Championship (LEC) slot to Team BDS for $31.54 million, both sides told Dot Esports on Tuesday.
It is believed to be the second-largest sale among Western LoL leagues, trailing only the $33 million price paid by Evil Geniuses to acquire Echo Fox’s slot in the League Championship Series (LCS) in September 2019.
The sale was driven by economic struggles facing the German soccer club Schalke 04, who were relegated from the Bundesliga first division in April and also sustained significant financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had a long and intensive sales process, where we looked into many, many applicants and Riot obviously has been involved in screening these parties interested and looking if they are a good fit to the league,” S04 Esports’ managing director Tim Reichert told Dot Esports. “That narrowed down to a couple of final applicants in the process.”
The team tried to stay afloat by selling mid laner Felix “Abbedagge” Braun’s contract to 100 Thieves in April for $1 million, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
“(Schalke) needed the biggest cashout, and the biggest cashout is purely the sale of the LEC slot,” Reichert said.
Team BDS, based in Switzerland, first entered LoL competition in May 2020 by acquiring the La Ligue Francaise slot from Bastille Legacy.
“For us, joining the LEC was an ultimate goal and an unmissable opportunity should it ever arise,” BDS strategy director Alexandre Lopez and executive director Renaud-Pierre Baijot told Dot Esports.
Schalke 04 will finish out the 2021 LEC Summer Split, where they are currently in ninth place in the 10-team league with a 2-5 record in the group stage.
--Field Level Media