Global esports organization Immortals today confirmed it won't participate in next year's League of Legends North American League Championship Series (NA LCS).
The team was turned down for permanent partnership with League publisher Riot Games, it says. Earlier this year, Riot announced plans to restructure the North American league into ten teams in 2018, giving it a stable roster of franchises similar to traditional sports. There will be a players association, according to Bloomberg, and existing team owners can buy a slot for $10 million.
Immortals didn't give a reason for its exclusion from the NA LCS. Instead, CEO Noah Whinston said in a video statement, "While we are disappointed in Riot’s decision, we remain grateful to our fans and players and the entire League of Legends community for joining us on an incredible journey these last two years. We are proud of the team and brand that our staff, players, and fans built together. We will continue to build teams and communities around the core values that we believe set us apart, and lead to deep connections with our fans. Although we are closing this chapter in LCS, we are excited about many other initiatives already underway, and look forward to sharing those details with our dedicated fans as soon as we can."
Whinston continued, “The support we received from our Immortals family proves that there is a place in the market for teams that care deeply about how players are treated, and who invite fans to truly become part of a team. We will continue to speak authentically and transparently to our fans, and to be accountable to our fans anywhere we plant the Immortals flag. Finally, on behalf of our entire organization, I again extend heartfelt thanks to all the players and fans who have devoted countless hours, and full hearts, to supporting Immortals.”
Meanwhile, Echo Fox, a team supported by Vision Esports and the New York Yankees, announced today that it was awarded one of the ten charter NA LCS franchises by Riot Games. “Riot Games has been at the forefront of esports since it installed the LCS back in 2014,” said Rick Fox, three-time NBA Champion and founder of Echo Fox. “We are extremely honored and proud that Echo Fox will be one of the charter franchises in North America and our selection further proves that Echo Fox will continue its ascent to becoming the number one esport organization in the world.”