FC Schalke 04 is looking to cash out on the LEC.
The football club is in talks of selling its League of Legends European Championship franchise slot, according to Sky Sports Germany. Managing director Tim Reichert later confirmed the news that the organization is speaking to “an undisclosed party” about leaving the LEC. But “there is no final decision yet.”
E-Sport!!! E(!!!)-Sport – Gott o Gott…ich schiebe es auf die Musik!
— Dirk g. Schlarmann (@Sky_Dirk) June 13, 2021
Reichert said there will be an update in 10 to 14 days.
After hearing about the guarded discussion, The Esports Observer reached out to the organization’s media relations manager Sascha Marx. She stated that the team would inform the public when “such a sale” has taken place.
This was a decision that’s possibly been in the works for a while. Rumors first began in February when the European organization was revealed to have millions of euros worth of debt due to the global health crisis. This wasn’t helped when the actual FC Schalke 04 football club was relegated from the Bundesliga, Germany’s top national football league. That put the club into a financial pinch that will likely be helped by the influx of cash that selling the LEC franchise would bring.
According to various outlets, the LEC franchise owned by FC Schalke 04 could sell for anywhere from 20 to 30 million euros, equivalent to $24 million to $36 million. Depending on their buy-in price was for the LEC franchise, this could technically mark a significant return on investment for the club. In 2019 the buy-in price on franchises was reportedly 8 million euros, worth less than $10 million at the time.
It is unclear what will happen to FC Schalke 04’s players, but odds are that few if any of the players would return to the team after a sale. Both recent League of Legends franchise transfers saw complete roster overhauls.
OpTic Gaming being acquired by Immortals saw all assets, including contracts transferred to Immortals but only OpTic Gaming’s coach at the time ended up making the jump to Immortals. Echo Fox released its entire roster ahead of the franchise being transferred to Evil Geniuses.