Today marks the close of the second-largest League of Legends esports franchise sale in Western history.
Schalke 04 Esports is leaving the LEC in a slot sale to Team BDS for €26.5 million ($31.54 million), the two sides told Dot Esports.
Schalke will exit the LEC at the end of the season following a number of issues facing the German soccer club. Its poor results in the Bundesliga led to its relegation from that league’s first division in April, a large blow to the club’s finances amid ongoing struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a significant loss to potential revenues, the club faced the difficult prospect of paying off €217 million ($258 million) in debt, which it confirmed in its 2020 financial report.
Schalke first began exploring a sale of its LEC slot last summer.
“You could already anticipate that the club might struggle,” S04 Esports’ managing director Tim Reichert told Dot Esports. “We had a long and intensive sales process, where we looked into many, many applicants and Riot obviously has been involved in screening these parties interested and looking if they are a good fit to the league. That narrowed down to a couple of final applicants in the process.”
Schalke tried to stay afloat