FC Schalke may sell LEC spot due to football club’s struggles

Lee Jones • February 25, 00:51

With FC Schalke 04 currently in the midst of a turbulent season that sees them ranked 20th in the Bundesliga, the club is considering disbanding its esports team and selling its LEC spot.

Schalke 04 extends Gilius through 2021 season | Dot Esports

Schalke has been a part of European League of Legends since 2016, including stints both in the EU LCS and EU Challenger series, and was awarded a franchise position during the creation of the LEC in 2019. Since then, the football team’s misfortunes have led them finding only 1 win in 22 Bundesliga games this season as they currently sit 9 points from safety. With relegation a potential reality and the sharp drop in revenue that would come with it, a sale of the LEC spot could earn them back an approximated €20m.

With the clubs’ debts thought to be around €200m and likely worsened match attendance restrictions, L’Équipe today reported that the side may be forced to sell their slot to help to secure financial safety despite preferring not to do so.

A scheduled Reddit AMA allowed Schalke’s esports managing director Tim Reichert to give some clarity on the situation, confirming that Schalke has been “evaluating different options that the club can take” which “includes, but is not limited to, selling the LEC slot to an interested buyer.”

His statement does go on to give some hope for the future of the organisation, adding that “no decision has been made as of right now, and the club getting relegated doesn’t necessarily force us to sell the slot.”

With persistent calls for the LEC to expand from 10 to 12 slots, Schalke’s situation does raise the question of whether a sale could deter or attract potential investors from other traditional sports sides. While a relatively short-lived five-year stint that failed to produce a World Championship appearance, it could put off other sides from taking the plunge into esports.

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