According to League of Legends content creator Daniel "dGon" Gonzales, the North American LCS could see a bona fide exodus this offseason. Speaking on the Facecheck podcast, Gonzales claimed that a unnamed LCS team had already sold their franchise slot in the league and would be leaving before the start of the next split. Furthermore, Gonzales clarified that the team in question was not TSM, who had previously announced that they would seeking an exit from the league.
When asked if he was happy about the team that would be entering the league, Gonzales instead said that he was happy about who was leaving. Aside from the departing TSM, there are nine other teams in the LCS. Immortals have already been linked with a move away from the league. It was reported last month that Immortals had triggered a performance provision that could force them out of the league. Immortals have finished bottom two in five splits amid an eight split (4 years) period. That triggers a Riot Games safeguard that could potentially see Immortals leave the league.
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Who Is Leaving the LCS?
Gonzales refused to say who was leaving. However, there are several teams that have indicated financial hardships over the past year. 100 Thieves, Cloud9, Dignitas, Golden Guardians, Immortals, NRG, and TSM all cut their academy teams when they Riot no longer mandated they have one. It's hard to see who might be the team Gonzales claims to be leaving. The aforementioned Immortals seem like a pretty good bet. Elsewhere, perhaps the financial constraint of multiple superteams that went nowhere has caught up with 100 Thieves? Only time will tell if Gonzales' reporting is accurate.
However, who might be joining the LCS? If Gonzales is correct, there could be multiple slots available ahead of 2024. Ahead of the Grand Final of Worlds 2022, YouTuber MrBeast said he was actively looking into joining the LCS in an ownership capacity. Could the time for MrBeast Esports be now? Then there's Disguised Toast, the popular streamer whose League of Legends team just won the NACL Summer split. Perhaps DSG will take the step into joining the LCS proper.