The Newly Formed LCK Franchise League has 10 Teams Ready to Go

The 10 teams that will be playing in Riot Game’s franchised League of Legends Champions Korea league are all set. After announcing its Top-10 list of preferred teams for the league in August, the list remained unchanged as Afreeca Freecs, DAMWON Gaming, DRX, Gen.G Esports, Hanwha Life Esports, hyFresh Blade, KT Rolster, Sandbox Gaming, T1, and Team Dynamics have each paid the preliminary entry fee to the league. That fee, which will be paid by the returning league teams, sits at a reported ₩10M won ($8.8M USD adjusted to today’s exchange rate), and will be paid to the league over the course of five years. However, hyFresh, which was not part of the LCK last season, will see an uptick in the fee, paying ₩12B won ($10.6M). DAMWON Gaming won this year’s League of Legends World Championship on Saturday, beating out LPL team, Suning Gaming.

These teams were selected from a list of 21 that submitted financial documents and other information to show financial stability in making sure it can sustain a team long-term. This process went through two rounds to arrive at the aforementioned teams.

In order to facilitate the league and put it on solid ground, Riot Games created the LCK Corporation with Oh Sang-hun as the CEO. Additionally, Riot Games has said that it will consider expanding the league if it sees market space for the move.

With teams making these types of large investments, the league has made changes from previous experiences and mandates to ensure stability. Relegation is no longer an issue as all teams are now guaranteed to be in the league regardless of how they finish in the standings. Additionally, players must have a minimum salary of ₩60M won ($52.8M) and organizations are required to field minor league affiliates.

The one-time franchise free agent period for signing players will start Tuesday and continue until Monday, Nov. 16. From there the global League of Legends leagues free agent period starts.