LCS Situation in 2023 Explained: Why Teams Are Reportedly Selling Their Spots

Shadman Sabik Zaim
By Shadman Sabik Zaim
6 Min Read
Image Credit: Riot Games

It seems the LCS is heading to a catastrophic situation as reportedly multiple organizations are selling their spot in the league.

The LCS has been one of the pillars of League of Legends Esports since its inception. While early LCS was popular, and almost everyone kept an eye on it, it has started to go downhill in the past few years. Since franchising occurred, the league has not really gone up in terms of popularity.

It’s not to say that the league was flawless in any way, shape or form. It has been reported multiple times that franchising has only caused the salaries of players to increase (which is nice) but also increased expenditure exponentially. Since then, LCS has undergone several changes, including broadcast days change, timing, etc.

Throughout franchising, there were several esports organizations that were on the roster in terms of popularity in NA and even in the world. Organizations like 100 Thieves, TSM, Cloud9, etc., have renown across the world. This kept LCS relevant despite their poor performances on the international stage.

However, the boat got rocked as surprise news dropped that NRG had acquired CLG in the LCS. After that, several rumors started flooding in about TSM, 100 Thieves and Dignitas being on the market. Let’s talk about why LCS teams sell or even gauge if they can sell the slot.

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Why LCS Teams Are Considering Selling Their Slot

There are many reasons why LCS teams could consider selling or even selling their slot. Here are some of the key points.

1. Investor Money Drying Up

Given the current recession, it is no surprise that investor money is probably drying up. The entire world is going through an economic shift, and many companies have taken quite a hit. Probably the biggest game-changer was the fall of FTX, as cryptocurrency is too volatile in the current landscape.

As FTX was a big investor, many others have probably taken financial hits. So LCS teams could likely be earning less money, which makes it hard to balance the books. This definitely is the biggest reason an LCS team is selling.

2. Salaries Being Too High

More power to the players, but salaries are currently not sustainable in the LCS. This has been a problem with the LCS for a while since they started bringing in imports at massive salaries. SwordArt and Maple were big signers for TSM, which did not pan out.

Meanwhile, teams like Dignitas, FlyQuest, etc., spent a lot of money in the past off-season. However, FlyQuest is under new ownership, so spending big is not a problem for them. Dignitas, however, is not in the same position.

Many teams like TSM and TL went to lower salary approaches, and many did not work. With all of that, this situation is a problem as there are reports that many players on different teams were asked to take a lower salary to help out the organization. So this is a problem until LCS somehow fixes the issue.

3. LCS Viewership

Next, viewership is a problem as it stands. Given that the league barely gets 100k views on Twitch in the LCS Spring Finals does not sit well with most people. While the stadium did have quite a number of attendees, it is still far from ideal in terms of viewership.

The LCS has to do a better job at scheduling better in such a way that people will watch the stream and help support the league.

4. Organization Mismanagement

However, the biggest reason could be the mismanagement of these teams. Most of the teams, like TSM, Team Liquid, Evil Geniuses, etc., spent without holding back, thinking they would get their money back.

Sadly it does not seem like it’s turning out that way for most teams. Teams have been trying to use their financial depth to gain relevance without building proper strategy and planning to grow the brand more.

LCS Academy talent is stagnant, and the esports scene in NA is not growing. Giving high salaries to any players they deem great is not a great idea either, considering the organization has to consider the future. Until the LCS organizations change their approach smartly, this problem will not go away anytime soon.

What’s Next For LCS Organizations

As rumors suggest, 100 Thieves and Dignitas are apparently looking to sell their slot. However, Kevin Hitt, an insider, has said enough to tone down the doubts of the LCS fans.

As Kevin mentions, we should temper our views for now until something concrete comes out. It is common for esports organizations to ask around about the market. So while fans may doom say right now, it is not nearly that yet. However, it is an interesting conversation to have as to how much demand there is for these slots. Let’s hope we learn more about the situation soon.

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By Shadman Sabik Zaim Deputy Editor
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Shadman is a Deputy Editor of League of Legends and other Riot IPs (excluding VALORANT) at GameRiv. He is a computer science and engineering graduate who got into games pretty early. Also, he takes pride in trying multiple types of games and got into League of Legends pretty early. Games, Board Games, Writing, Music, and Sports are his passions and hobbies.