Riot Games has decided to franchise CBLoL, the highest level of professional League of Legends in Brazil.
On January 21, Riot Brazil announced the 2020 Campeonato Brasileiro de League of Legends is bringing new talents, new sponsors, and most importantly the beginning of its implementation of a franchise model. Since the LCS and LEC have moved to the model two seasons ago, more and more tournaments are noticing the benefits of long-term partnerships and looking to do the same.
Head of Riot Games’ Brazilian esports team Carlos “Cacophonie” Antunes shared that the league is looking to move to a new model due to the participating teams requesting it. As it’s been seen from other cases, franchising brings more stability to the teams while also presenting better opportunities for new sponsorships and general development.
However, the process of franchising doesn’t always run smoothly, and there’s space for improvement. Cacophonie addressed this, saying a lot of pieces of the model will need to be tweaked ahead of 2021 and CBLoL’s implementation.
“To bring about this stability, halt the relegation and maintain the structure in the league, we need to change a lot in franchise development,” Cacophonie said based on the translation provided by ESPN. “We need to think about the league’s competitiveness.”
In the coming months, fans can expect to hear more about the upcoming model for the Brazilian league. CBLoL will have to set in place rules and pathing towards the long-term partnership, and teams will start negotiations.
In the LCS, this transition hurt teams such as Dignitas and Immortals when they weren’t selected in the 2018 NA LCS franchising program. It took both of these major esports organizations two years to come back on the LCS stage, so smaller Brazilian teams might struggle to remain in the competition.
On the other hand, the struggle could prove to be worth it. Entering the League of Legends scene is a lot less risky for investors when franchises are involved, as slots in leagues can be sold to new buyers later on.