We've heard rumours for ages now about who will and who won't be in the newly-franchised North American League of Legends Championship Series, and now we have an official reveal showing us the 10 teams that'll be included which, if you've been keeping up with the rumours, isn't too surprising.
The six returning teams, first of all, are Cloud9, TSM, CLG, Team Liquid, FlyQuest, and Echo Fox, who will be joined by four others. One of these is OpTic Gaming, best known for prominence in other esports like Call of Duty, who will be hoping to bring the same 'green wall' to League of Legends too.
The last three teams all involve NBA franchises, as 100 Thieves is tied to the Cleveland Cavaliers; Clutch Gaming have the Houston Rockets' backing; and the Golden Guardians have the Golden State Warriors' involvement. These three show how big esports is getting, since big and established franchises are recognising its value, and no doubt there's a lot of investment with all these teams too.
"We believe the ten teams joining the NA LCS are the best possible blend of partners for the league," Riot writes. "Representing talent, passion, and fan focus from within the esports community as well as expertise and legacy experience from traditional sports, these are dedicated, well structured, and ambitious organisations ready to take on the battle for NA LCS glory. Let the battle commence!"
You'll probably notice that one big name is missing: Immortals. The organisation confirmed that they were not accepted into the LCS' partnership program, despite being one of the biggest teams, even qualifying for Worlds this year, and here's what CEO Noah Whinston had to say about this:
"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."
Are you happy with the teams announced?