This year’s offseason for professional League of Legends has been a wild ride to many fans. Martin “Rekkles” Larssen’s departure from top-tier competition and the LEC to join French organization, Karmine Corp, in the LFL was one of the most shocking.
To many fans, this move is very unexpected given Rekkles’ status as a mainstay of top-level League of Legends play in Europe for many years now. Some fans speculate that KCorp could be seeding a bid for a theoretical expansion of the LEC, while others claim the ridiculous buyouts and offseason contract drama doomed a top player into a two-year contract in a secondary league.
The truth is that this move is a potentially risky move for both KCorp and Rekkles. If Rekkles’ integration goes well, he could be single-handedly responsible for a massive injection of viewers to the LFL, as well as taking lifetime fans with him to the French organization.
Rekkles is one of Europe’s most long-lived professional players, and he was expected to join another LEC team after his departure from G2 Esport. Moving to a regional league makes Rekkles’ goal of eventually winning Worlds impossible, especially if he sees out the contract’s full duration.
In the meantime, LEC play will continue without Rekkles, where younger AD carries had begun to pass him in recent years. An extended time in a regional league would certainly lower the quality of competition, and that could dull his preparedness for the big stage.
Should this happen, KCorp could be left holding the bill for more than a million euros with no buyer from the main league. Unless KCorp can use this to launch its public profile to greater heights, it’s a temporary boost. However, some fans are reading more into the decision to acquire Rekkles. Could KCorp know something that fans don’t?
At the same time, many fans are looking forwards to an expansion of the number of teams in the LEC. Nothing has been officially announced, but the departure of such a major talent has many clamoring for more slots in the wildly successful LEC. If the LEC does decide to expand in the near future, KCorp would have a strong application given their success in the LFL and new potential franchise player.
The truth is that it will be difficult for this decision to wind up with a neutral outcome, Rekkles and KCorp are set up for prosperity or peril together. Fans can only hope that Rekkles’ addition to the league allows French League of Legends to become the premier regional league.