One of Ibai’s big dreams, to have a team competing in the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), the most important tournament in the Old Continent, could be very close to becoming a reality. According to reports, KOI, the organization that the Spanish streamer founded together with footballer Gerard Piqué, has practically everything agreed with Rogue to share a quota and join the tournament, which would mean a giant leap for the club.
The information was brought to light by journalist Nonimotum through the news portal Blix. According to him, the Rogue organization had been holding talks with several teams in recent months, such as Giants of Spain, Karmine Corp of France, or Case Esports, of Brazilian footballer Casemiro, but the most solid proposal would have been that of KOI. The deal would include the unification of both organizations in the LEC, and Rogue Academy would take KOI’s place in the Spanish Superliga, the league in which they currently compete. They are still awaiting approval from Riot Games for confirmation.
Unlike what happens in Latin America, in Europe, the top category is a franchise league, just like in the NFL or the NBA. In other words, each team owns its own slot in the tournament, and there is no relegation. At the same time, the LEC is the only way for organizations from that continent to qualify for Worlds, the League of Legends World Championship. So if you have a very good team, even if they are the best, they will never be able to compete internationally unless they buy a franchise.
This deal between KOI and Rogue could also include VALORANT, as they both applied -separately- to be part of the European Franchise League. The league would start next year and would have 10 teams at the beginning, although they will be added year by year until they reach 14 squads.
KOI is a team with a lot of potential that counts on the visibility of Ibai Llanos, one of the most popular streamers in the world, and owner of the record for the Twitch broadcast with the most simultaneous viewers: La Velada, with a peak of 3.3 million. He also has the backing of Barcelona star footballer Gerard Piqué. Rogue finished second in the LEC in the Spring Split of the year and, after finishing the regular stage of the Summer Split, is in the upper bracket semifinals, where it will face Mad Lions on Friday, August 26.
Ibai was the caster of the LVP Spain and also narrated the quarterfinals and semifinals of the League of Legends Worlds 2019 in Madrid. Now he might have the chance to return to Worlds but as a team owner.
Rumor has it that they paid around €35 million for 80% of the quota. The remaining percentage would remain with Misfit, which would remain as a minority investor. Heretics was one of KOI’s great rivals during the year, and this Saturday they won the Spanish Superliga after defeating Giants 3-1.
In addition, there are many rumors that Astralis is looking for a buyer for its slot, which would be worth around 50 million. In mid-2021 Schalke 04, the soccer club that bet on a League of Legends team in the LEC, sold its place for 26.5 million euros, almost half of what it is worth today.