Riot Games has accepted G2 Esports, Fnatic, Misfits, Schalke 04 Esports and Team Vitality as franchise partners for the European League of Legends Championship Series, league sources told ESPN.
All five teams have competed in the League Championship Series over the past few years, with Fnatic being a participant since the league launched in early 2013.
Each team will have to pay Riot Games 8 million euros ($9.26 million) over a multi-year period for the franchise slots in the league. The teams will now be entitled to 32.5 percent of the league revenue pool, which will total league and team sponsorships, region-specific broadcasting rights deals and other forms of revenue. G2 Esports, Misfits, FC Schalke 04 and Team Vitality declined to comment. Fnatic and Riot Games did not respond to requests for comment.
On Friday, Riot notified Splyce and H2K Gaming, two other teams who participated in the league over the past few years, that their applications for franchise slots were declined.
The European League Championship Series started in early 2013, when League of Legends developer Riot Games moved from an open circuit to a league system. Over the course of the past five years, the league has featured a relegation system that has seen teams both enter and exit the league based off performance.
In mid-2017, H2K Gaming and Unicorns of Love both wrote open letters about a lack of financial stability in European League of Legends and called for Riot to make changes to assist its teams in becoming profitable. Simultaneously, G2 Esports, Fnatic, Misfits and Splyce applied for franchise slots in the North American League Championship Series, but were ultimately declined.
In early 2018, Riot announced the European League Championship Series would move to a franchise model, similar to that of the North American League Championship Series. That move will feature revenue sharing between the league, its teams and their players for the first time in Europe.