Schalke 04 sells LEC franchise for $30 million to Team BDS

Christian Vejvad • June 29, 15:56

Schalke 04 will officially be leaving the LEC after the ongoing 2021 competitive season. 

After months of speculation, it’s now official that Schalke 04 has sold its LEC spot to the Swiss organization Team BDS for €26.5 million ($31.5 million). Schalke 04 had to sell the spot due to “battle the financial pressure” that the football club has faced after being relegated from the German Bundesliga. Taking over the coveted spot in the top European league will be Team BDS, who has been participating in the French LFL national league since the start of 2021. 

In its official statement, Schalke 04 says that it’s with “great sadness” that it must depart the LEC after the 2021 LEC Summer Split. Over recent months, Schalke has considered several solutions to keep the spot but unfortunately couldn’t work out an alternative. 

“Starting in 2022, Team BDS will join the LEC,” Schalke 04 said. “The LEC license will be sold for €26.5 million. We wish Team BDS the best of luck and lots of success in Europe’s greatest esports league.”

Schalke also thanked the “numerous applicants” that participated in the process, which indicates that other organizations were interested in buying the spot. Since the LEC turned into a franchised league, the value of a spot has increased rapidly. 

Schalke 04 joined the LEC in 2016 and has since then been part of building the league to what it is today. Schalke’s best result was during the 2018 LEC Summer Split, where Schalke went all the way to the finals before losing to Fnatic. Despite being very close several times, Schalke has never represented Europe at the World Championship but will still have a chance to do so in 2021 before leaving the scene. 

Schalke is currently struggling to keep up in the LEC, sitting at a 2-5 record after the first three weeks. According to Schalke, the team will continue competing with all it has until the split ends. The goal is to send the organization off with a bang. 

Team BDS will enter the league in Schalke’s place next year and likely field a revamped roster. Team BDS is currently fighting for the LFL trophy, with some promising talent on its roster. With that said, the LEC will be a big step up for the team and likely require some upgrades in both management and players. Who Team BDS will be playing with is still unknown, but it’s expected that it will look towards the huge talent pool from LFL and current Schalke members.  

Team BDS will play its first LEC game next year when the 2022 LEC Spring Split kicks off. 

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