Echo Fox, Immortals Find League of Legends Success, Who's Next?
A shock wave was sent through the world of eSports as Riot Games (makers of League of Legends) barred two teams from competing in the North American LCS for various reasons. This has opened up two highly desirable spots for investors who have been looking to work their way into the eSports space and potential owners are clamoring to be first in line.
LCS spots are coveted by many who are hoping to break into the realm of eSports because they cannot typically be bought, but have to be earned by having an established team which performs well in a split of the North American Challenger Series, then defeats a team which is currently in the LCS (a league which contains all the top teams in North America). Having two open spots is extremely rare, and once they have been filled the odds of have two slots open again in the future is nearly non-existent.
Many savvy investors have already made their way into the space and are finding great success. The first venture capitalist funded team, Immortals (backed by big names such as Steve Kaplan of the Memphis Grizzlies), even finished their inaugural split of the NA LCS (Spring 2016) with an astounding 17 - 1 record and finished third overall after falling to Team Liquid. Another recent addition to the LCS, Echo Fox (owned by former NBA star Rick Fox), has build a solid roster including superstar top laner KFO and former all-star mid laner Froggen. Echo Fox also secured their spot in the next LCS split and have since branched out into other competitive games such as CS:GO and Street Fighter V.
With past major events like the 2014 World Championship of League of Legends boasting a higher viewership count than many of that year’s top sporting events including the final round of Masters, the World Series, the Stanley Cup finals, or the NBA finals, and sharing the same demographic of many of the before mentioned events, it’s clear that an investment into eSports advertising, eSports marketing, and working with an LCS team just might be the smartest move many business owners and corporate sponsors have ever made.