LCK on-air talent, Max “Atlus” Anderson shared on Twitter that the Korea Esports Association decided to cut off the English broadcast and had barred them from restreaming the event. League of Legends fans were quick to react to the news, venting frustration over being denied access to the last competitive event of the year.
Gen.G’s COO Arnold Hur was among that lot, as he started asking questions about the licensing and general situation. This was followed by T1 CEO Joe Marsh trying to fix the situation personally by reaching out to KeSPA and offering to share the costs of the English broadcast with Gen.G.
KeSPA is yet to make any kind of announcement.
The KeSPA Cup gives LCK fans an early look at the rosters each team will bring into 2020 season. Gen.G and T1 have a particular interest in keeping the event available to a western audience.
Both organizations are partially owned by companies in the United States, and both have been making major efforts recently to expand their presence in North America. T1 has been making its content more visible for fans outside Korea, producing videos such as player vlogs and stream highlights with English subtitles. Meanwhile, Gen.G has been signing American teams in games including Fortnite and Call of Duty.
That said, all the teams involved have reason to get behind an English broadcast.
Making the LCK and KeSPA Cup accessible to international fans is one way to attract a broader audience to the LCK. The Korean league is home to some of the most popular teams and players in the world.
The 2019 KeSPA Cup starts on December 23 and features 20 teams, including every organization that competed in the 2019 LCK Summer season. The tournament follows a single-elimination format, with all matches in the first round being best-of-threes.