Photo: Riot Games
Having announced that the League of Legends Champions Korea would switch to a franchising model, following in the footsteps of Europe's LEC and North America's LCS, Riot Games have now released details of the ten organizations that will make up the Korean League.
The ten franchises are the same ten that were included on Riot's preferred list back in August - organizations that would be included provided they passed Riot's checks on strategy, finance, marketing and overall business.
Those teams are
- Afreeca Freecs
- Hanwha Life Esports
- SANDBOX Gaming
- Team Dynamics
- kt Rolster
- DAMWON Gaming
- hyFresh Blade
Of these ten teams, all competed in the LCK in 2020, bar one - hyFresh Blade, a Challengers Korea team who replace SeolHaeOne Prince.
According to Inven Global, teams who are returning from last year will need to pay a buy-in fee of 10 billion Korean Won (just under $9m), to be paid over five years, while those new to the LCK (i.e. hyFresh Blade) are required to pay 12 billion Won ($10.5m).
The new LCK will come with an academy league, as with its western counterparts, and as such, relegation has been discontinued.
The LCK’s top seed, DAMWON Gaming, have beaten the LPL's third seed, Suning, in the 2020 League of Legends World Championship finals on Oct. 31 3-1, becoming the World Champions over a contested field.