So as far as I know, although there has been many people predicting that, with Riot taking over LCK broadcasting, that they'll introduce franchising sooner or later, this is the first news article to discuss it in an 'official' manner.
The article (there isn't an English version yet as far as I know) talks about how Riot, back in January, first talked about franchising and how they're 'looking for the right timing', and the industry is predicting that this will happen next year at the earliest.
Obviously this will mean that the Challengers scene and the Promotional Tournament will be replaced by an Academy league, with the 10 'franchises' in LCK also having teams in this secondary league with their subs, trainees, etc… This means that, while we won't have a team like Griffin, Damwon and Sandbox ever again, there is a higher chance for current existing franchises and new, possibly bigger ones, to increase their funds going into the LoL Esports scene as there is no longer the threat of relegation, and they can safely invest large amounts of money to their teams (maybe CJ and Samsung will return to the scene?).
In fact, the article talks about three teams in particular and their recent investments into looking for more trainees and potential players. SKT obviously partnered with Comcast recently and rebranded their team as T1, and last December, they brought in 5 new trainees (Ellim and Gumayusi are names you might remember as being part of the KeG Seoul team in the last Kespa Cup, where they took down Hanhwa Life). Afreeca Freecs are holding an amateur tournament starting from the end of this month to mid-May, where coaches will be attending to look for potential talents, and the winners of the tournament will be given an opportunity to try out for the team. And Gen.G apparently has around 30 trainees under them right now, who are scrimming against each other and against other teams to look for the players with the highest potential.
So, at this point franchising seems like it's basically a given for LCK: it's just a matter of when. The general consensus from the Korean fans seem to be that while it'll be a shame that there will never be a team like Griffin ever again, the increased funding going into the scene will definitely have positive impacts on the scene, even if these aren't felt immediately (and also the fact that LCK is the only major region that hasn't franchised yet isn't sitting right with most of them). So, what do you guys think?
Source: Original link
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