EU LCS Franchising
2018 format changes
On November 6, 2017, Riot Games announced changes to the format and structure of the EU LCS for 2018 and plans to transition to a partnership system in 2019. The league switched from its 2-group format to a Single Round Robin Bo1 format, which was also adopted for NA LCS Spring 2018. The mid-year Promotion tournament and EU Challenger Series was removed and replaced by introducing a new pan-European tournament, European Masters, with existing European Regional Leagues providing paths for qualification.
On March 28, 2018, Riot Games officially announced details of the partnership system that will take place for EU LCS in 2019.
Partnering with teams
Similar to the partnership programmes launched in China and North America in 2018, the 10 teams participating in the EU LCS from 2019 onwards will be long-term partners of the league.
The minimum salary for pros in the league will be increased from €24,000 to €60,000 per year. Pros will also be incorporated into the league revenue sharing structure, which means they’ll receive additional compensation on top of their salary if the league performs well.
The structure consists of a league revenue pool (LRP) that all parties contribute to, and benefit from. The league will share revenues from sponsorships and media rights and in turn, teams will share a portion of their sponsorship and merchandise revenues.
- The player portion of the LRP is 35%, which pays for contracted player salaries. If the league performs well and the player portion is above their combined salaries, the difference will be shared with players.
- The team portion is 32.5%. Part of that share will be distributed equally to each organisation and part will be divided into allocations based on competitive and engagement metrics.
- The remaining 32.5% goes to Riot Games for broadcast production, live events, and running the league.
Part of the 2019 structure will include a player development platform that will be essential for providing aspiring pros with the support needed to grow into star players and well-rounded individuals. There will also be additional resources available to pros on topics ranging from personal finance, to personal development and healthcare.
ESPN reports that the buy-in fee will be €8 million EUR (≈ $9.93 million USD) for current teams in the league, and €10.5 million ($13.02 million) for teams who wish to enter the league and are not currently participating.
On May 10th, Esports Insider reported that Premier League football clubs Arsenal F.C., Crystal Palace F.C., and Swansea City A.F.C. were in talks with Riot Games regarding franchise spots. On July 15th, The Shotcaller reported that former EU LCS participant SK Gaming have re-entered the scene and has applied for long term partnership. 2018 EU LCS teams, Team Vitality and Giants Gaming, also announced that they have applied for long term partnership. On September 11th, ESPN reported that Paris Saint-Germain F.C. who withdrew their esports division at the end of 2017 would be partnering with EU LCS team H2K to co-apply for a franchise spot.
Rumored denied teams
- Giants Gaming
- H2K and Paris Saint-Germain joint team
- Team ROCCAT
- Unicorns of Love
Teams denied after negotiations
ESPN Esports initially reported that applications from Movistar Riders and North for permanent partners had been accepted, however their official entries were pending due to setbacks within negotiations. It was later reported by ESPN that Riot Games did not come to agreements with these two teams and they were replaced by ExceL Esports and Splyce.
Rumored selected teams
- ExceL Esports 
- FC Schalke 04 Esports
- G2 Esports
- Origen, initially branded as Astralis before their parent company RFRSH Entertainment acquired the Origen brand.
- Rogue 
- SK Gaming 
- Splyce 
- Team Vitality
- Riot Games (2017-06-01). "EU LCS Update".
- Riot Games (2017-11-06). "EU LCS in 2018 and beyond".
- Riot Games (2018-03-28). "The Future of the EU LCS".
- Jacob Wolf (2018-03-28). "European League Championship Series changes to include salary increase, franchising and rev share". ESPN.
- "Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Swansea City reportedly eyeing EU LCS spots". 2018-05-10.
- Alexander Hugo (2018-06-15). "SK Gaming Applied for the EU LCS Franchise System". The Shotcaller.
- Team_Vitality (2018-07-03). "Team Vitality applies for partnership". Twitter.
- GiantsGamingENG (2018-07-03). "Giants Gaming applies for partnership". Twitter.
- Jacob Wolf (2018-09-11). "H2K and Paris Saint-Germain to apply for EU LCS franchising together, sources say".
- Jacob Wolf (2018-10-04). "Sources: Giants, Unicorns, ROCCAT will not participate in EU LCS franchising". ESPN.
- Jacob Wolf (2018-09-29). "Sources: Splyce, H2K and Paris Saint-Germain declined from EU LCS". ESPN.
- Jacob Wolf (2018-11-03). "Sources: Riot accepts final EU LCS applications". ESPN.
- Jacob Wolf (2018-11-19). "Sources: Splyce and exceL to replace Movistar, North as EU LCS franchise partners". ESPN.
- Jacob Wolf (2018-10-02). "Sources: G2, Fnatic, Misfits, Schalke 04 and Vitality make EU LCS franchising". ESPN.
- Jacob Wolf (2018-10-02). "Sources: Astralis accepted into EU LCS". ESPN.
- Jacob Wolf (2018-11-19). "Astralis parent company RFRSH Entertainment has acquired Origen". ESPN.