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Volume 24 No. 136
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Riot Games Awards 10 Slots In League of Legends Championship Series

The Warriors, Rockets Owner Tilman Fertitta, and Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert are among the new owners welcomed into the upper echelon of American esports by Riot Games, winning bids to join the reconstituted North American League of Legends Championship Series starting next year. Riot has announced the 10 winners of long-term slots in the league, which is doing away with relegation/promotion and promising revenue sharing beginning in '18. The winners beat out more than 100 other applicants, sources said, and will each pay $10M to Riot for the privilege. Newcomers are required to pay an additional $3M.

100 Thieves*
Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert, Courtside Ventures, Ludlow Ventures
Clutch Gaming*
Rockets Owner Tilman Fertitta
Counter Logic Gaming
Bucks co-Owner Wes Edens
Golden Guardians*
OpTic Gaming*
MLB Rangers co-Owner Neil Leibman via Infinite Esports & Entertainment
Team Liquid
aXiomatic, a group led by Jeff Vinik, Ted Leonsis and Peter Guber
Echo Fox
CHART NOTE: * = New to the league

To make room for the four new participants, Riot dis-invited four teams that participated in the '17 LCS: Dignitas, owned by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment; Team Envy, who recently welcomed energy industry exec and financier Ken Hersh’s fund as major capital partner; Immortals, whose investors include AEG and Grizzlies co-Exec Chair Steve Kaplan; and Phoenix1. The loss of the LCS spots represent a major hit to the valuation of those organizations, affecting current and future investment talks. They will receive payouts in the low seven figures from Riot.

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