Riot Games BR Confirms CBLoL Will Move Into Franchise System in 2021
Franchising is how most of the world plays professional League of Legends these days. However, the Brazilian League (CBLoL) was set apart from this franchise system. For what reasons, we do not know. That’s going to change in 2021, when the system is fully implemented, according to Riot Games BR.
There isn’t much information yet, such as making certain players have a path to head to the pros, or how much it costs for teams to enter. From what we understand, Riot Games hasn’t even agreed on a business plan with the other teams yet (or perhaps what teams will be in the franchise system).
We love League of Legends here at Esports Talk, but is this the right decision for Brazil? Or will it spell doom for the CBLoL if it goes to franchising?
The Economy of League (and Brazil)
Let’s not mince words. Brazil’s economy is in a sorry state right now. It’s not said to be slanderous or rude, but Brazil is not in a good place. Even if it were to cost a 1million reais (the Brazilian currency), it might be too much to afford for these teams.
That is unless organizations from outside of Brazil see potential and start bankrolling. FaZe, as an example, has publicly stated they are not interested in joining any franchised leagues. But that might change with the news we dropped about B Site yesterday in CS:GO.
Franchised leagues are not cheap. There is likely also going to be a minimum salary for players. If these teams are all Brazilian, they might not be able to afford to keep their teams. This isn’t the only region with money problems either. I’ve heard that the TCL and LCL are also undergoing similar financial woes.
Ideally, the franchise fee will make sense for the region (thus, cost less to enter). Organizations should take advantage of this and sign in with the Brazilian region. Then they can bring in a few players from Korea, China, or North America, and try to dominate this new CBLoL franchise league.
This Could Still Be Good News
However, it’s not all sadness. Three of the most valuable properties are sponsors for the CBLoL franchise: Gilette, Dell, and Red Bull. They will sponsor the Brazilian league for the year, and that’s not all.
Simplicity Esports announced they reached an agreement with Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, to assume control over Flamengo Esports. Flamengo Esports won the CBLoL Championship in September last year and competed at League of Legends Worlds 2019.
If this ends up being a big-money deal so Brazilian players have a real path to the pros and can make real stands at Worlds in 2020, this could shake things up. I know, there’s always the toxicity in the casual/ranked League matches that “BR players are bad.” That’s not true at all. Riot Games wouldn’t invest money into this region and get these big partners on board if they didn’t have faith in it.
If this is done right, and everything is transparent and above board, this could do for Brazilian esports what the LCS, LEC, and LPL did for their regions. I don’t think we’re going to see a sudden Brazilian world championship team this year, or maybe not even in 2021. But I do think this is what’s best for business. I know I spent a fair amount of time talking about how bad things are financially in Brazil. But they have some pretty major corporate backers going in.
Couple that with the average of 565,000 unique daily viewers (compared to the 532,000 viewers last year), and a total increase of live hours watched, I think Riot sees the Brazilian market as a major source of fans and new pros. Let’s hope this goes well, though. Just because a company “sponsors” a team or region doesn’t mean that they’re going to invest real money into it. We’ll have to wait and see.