New eSports NA LCS 2018 Teams – GSW, Cavs, Rockets And Optic

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2018 NA LCS New Teams- Preview

NA LCS LogoAs we get closer to the free agency opening up in League of Legends on November 21st 2017, we have all but confirmed the ten franchised teams in the NA LCS (League Championship Series). They are as follows: Team Solo Mid (TSM), Cloud 9, Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), Team Liquid (TL), Echo Fox (EF), FlyQuest, Optic Gaming, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The first six are returning members from the past season, but Optic Gaming and the NBA teams are the new entrants. All four of these teams have yet to field rosters which should make for a very interesting offseason especially when taking into account that the entire Immortals roster was disbanded from the LCS. For those who don’t know, Immortals was one of the top teams in North America and even qualified for the World Championships.

However, they were denied re-entry into the LCS much to the dismay of the community. A five-man roster with premade synergy is very valuable to these new teams. For now, let’s go over the newer teams in detail to get a feel for the new landscape.

Golden State Warriors eSports Team

golden state warrios na lcs esports team logoWell, it would only seem right that the Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob and his son got a spot in the NA LCS. They’ve already secured a dynasty in the NBA, so why not try to be successful in the biggest esports game in history? The Golden State brand has seen a huge rise in popularity over the last 5 years with stars like Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and their newest member Kevin Durant joining the squad.

If there’s anything to take from the GSW roster, then maybe their eSports League of Legends team will be star studded as well? All we know is that these teams will spare no expense and are it for the long haul with their $8 million upfront fee due before the start of the season. They have branded under the name “Golden Guardians” which keeps true to the GSW theme without infringing upon the warriors part of it. It’s pretty slick that they made their acronym “GG” in the spirit of the game.

Cleveland Cavaliers eSports Team

cleveland cavaliers na lcs esports team logoIf the Golden State Warriors are in this, then the Cavaliers have to be too. One of the biggest rivalries across any sport, the Cavs and the Warriors have met in the NBA finals the past three seasons. This isn’t the first esports venture Cavalier’s owner Dan Gilbert has been involved with. They’ve gone into fighting games and will be in the NBA 2K League in 2018. They even were mulling investments into current esports teams but decided to create their own Cavs eSports brand in LCS.

This is, however, the biggest investment they’d have to make. Riot’s plan of revenue streams and profit sharing for the organizations is very enticing for new orgs with deep pockets. If the Warriors and Cavaliers rivalry continues on into the NA LCS, it’ll be amazing publicity for both the teams and the league itself which is exactly what Riot Games wants. The Cavaliers have branded under the name 100 Thieves which is the same brand that their head of esports, Nadeshot, used to own when he was a former professional Call of Duty player. It’s smart to use a name that already has a presence in other esports since it might bring more viewers to the League of Legends side of things.

Houston Rockets eSports Team

houston rockets na lcs esports team logoOwner Tilman J. Fertitta probably knew he wanted to expand the Rockets brand into esports he hired Sebastian Park in December. After the Rockets had declined to participate in the Overwatch League run by Blizzard, the NA LCS seems to be the only thing that caught Rockets’ eye. A highly successful NBA team with franchised player James Harden at the helm, Rockets will join LCS next season.

Out of more than 100 applicants, three out of the four newcomers are NBA teams. With only a week left before the free agency, it would be unlikely to think that the esports division doesn’t have a “dream team” in mind. The question is, will they opt to build using well-known players or cultivate new talent. Over the past, imports from Korea have been hit or miss and an American based team that created their own synergy has ended up near the top for years (Cloud 9). The Rockets are going with Clutch City Gaming as their team name, which is the Houston Rocket’s nickname to begin with. CCG has a pretty nice ring to it and keeping close to the Houston roots will help them gain publicity from other industries.

Optic Gaming eSports Team

optic gaming na lcs esports team logA huge name in first-person shooters such as Call of Duty, Halo, and Counter Strike, Optic Gaming has finally been successful in their leap into League of Legends. The organization tried to join in 2014 but was not able to outbid other teams for the Curse Academy spot. Now, with Texas Rangers co-owner Neil Leibman, Optic looks set to make a splash in the Spring Split.

Just like the others, Optic has yet to field a team, but with their big name and backing it’s possible they could be one of the front-runners to just pick up the entirety of the Immortals roster. It will be interesting to see how successful Optic Gaming is since one of their biggest rivals NV was booted from the LCS to make room for the new franchisees. The organization is currently set for a huge year since they have also secured an Overwatch League slot which costs a similar amount to the League of Legends slot of $15 million.

NA LCS Teams 2018 – In Summary

Since we don’t know the rosters of each team or even rumors at this point, it becomes difficult to gauge their individual strength. We only know that they have very big investors and don’t want to see their team last. In one week, when free agency kicks off, keep an eye on a new article that highlights a preview of what is to come once the rosters have been set.

In the meantime, we’ll go over the current teams and their potential roster changes in the next article.

Lukasz Soze

Lukasz was born in Las Vegas, the center of US sports betting. He is a sports aficionado with great insight into motorsports like F1 and MotoGP as well as NHL hockey.

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