Esports champion Gen.G is looking at franchising opportunities for the LCK in South Korea.
Franchising in South Korea
The Gen.G esports organization is looking to invest in League of Legends franchises in South Korea. This was announced shortly after Riot Games’ announcement that the company is looking to create a franchised-based team system in South Korea.
Although no official information is released yet, the company confirmed that the 2021 League of Legends Korea Championship will set-up the competition’s first franchised entities.
Gen. G is looking towards the League Championship Korea (LCK) now more than ever. Esports are also quite popular in South Korea, giving an added benefit to a decision to expand further into the LCK. Looking at the game itself, franchising seems to be the logical way of development in the major regions where League of Legends is popular.
Chris Park, Gen.G CEO commented that League of Legends is the top esport that franchising can offer. He noted that a clear structure is yet to be considered regarding the partners, but also added: “Franchising in esports is relatively new. League of Legends has done this in China, Europe, and North America. Korea is the the latest”.
Park is correct. Franchising was introduced with the help of the Overwatch League, and specifically the former boss of Major League Gaming (MLG) Mike Sepso.
Big Hopes for Gen.G
Similar decisions have already carried out for the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League by Activision Blizzard. Teams that participated paid for the rights of the franchise but so did the investors. A single slot for Overwatch reportedly cost to $60 million. Park believes that the same move can be applied to the LCK league as well, leading to high demand for franchises.
In addition, with most sports on pause, League of Legends can unite the Western and Asian markets. Effectively become the most watched esport in the world, Park added.
“You’ll see more and more avenues for American fans and European fans to follow Gen.G in this league even though most of us don’t have a chance to regularly travel to Seoul in person“.
Gen.G’s LoL team has been one of the top establishments in the competitive ecosystem since 2017, when the organization adopted its new name. In that same year, Gen.G also won the World Championship. Currently the team is ranked the strongest League of Legends outfit in the world.
With the team’s ability to win and a strong fan base that stretches from China to the United States, Gen.G is gradually catching the eye of the big brands. Gen.G’s partners include Han Sung Motors (Mercedes-Benz distributor for Korea) and Logitech, and more.
Riot Games has also been successful in setting up new competitive elements to the League of Legends community. Most recently, the company teamed up with DreamHack to host the Northern League of Legends Championship.
Thumbnail image credit: Gen.G