After months of rumors that the German-based LEC team Schalke 04 Esports was looking to sell their spot, the sale has finally occurred. Schalke 04 will be selling their LEC spot to Team BDS for €26.5 million ($31.54 million).
— Schalke 04 Esports League of Legends (@S04EsportsLoL) June 29, 2021
Why did Schalke 04 sell their LEC spot
In a video released on Twitter, Claudio Kasper, Managing Director for esports at GmbH, noted that there were two primary reasons for the sale. First, the COVID-19 pandemic had severely affected revenue streams at the club. Second, the fact that the Schalke 04 football club was relegated from the Bundesliga a few months ago made this an imminent decision for the club.
While this move marks Schalke’s departure from the LEC, it has not stopped their commitment to esports. Despite selling the spot, Tim Reichert, Managing Director of Schalke 04 Esports, said that the last five years have been extremely successful for the team; not only financially but also for the growth of the brand. He stated that a complete withdrawal from esports was only on the table to consider all possibilities. Schalke 04 remains committed to the future of its esports division.
“In any case, I’m under the assumption and relatively confident that the club will continue to pursue esports, just less internationally and more domestically focused,” Tim said.
What will happen with the LEC spot for the rest of the season?
The players and team will continue to play under the Schalke 04 brand until the end of the summer split 2021 and, potentially, Worlds. The transition will come into effect at the beginning of the 2022 LEC season. The same goes for BDS, as they are currently participating in LFL and will continue to play in the French league till the end of 2021.
All that are currently playing in Schalke 04, with the exception of mid laner Ilias “NUCLEARINT” Bizriken, have their contracts up in Nov. and will be participating in free agency. This landmark deal not only introduces a new team into the LEC; it also sets a market price for an LEC team of Schalke’s scale. This means that future sales will now have this point of precedent to work off of, making any future prices more concrete.