According to ESPN, Counter-Strike powerhouse Astralis is joining the EU LCS as a franchise partner. Also, Danish League of Legends caster Martin “Deficio” Lynge will be leading the application. If Astralis were to join the EU LCS, Deficio would need to decide if he wishes to work full-time for Astralis or stay as a caster in the league. Note, Lynge has already left his full-time position at Riot Games and is working on a freelance basis for now.
Astralis will now have to pay around 12 million dollars for their acceptance into the EU LCS. They are joining the likes of Fnatic, G2 Esports, Misfits, Schalke 04 and Team Vitality. There are still four more slots to fill, after the news that Riot Games would decline franchise spots for ROCCAT, Unicorns of Love and GIANTS Gaming.
The Danish esports organization is one of the most well-known Counter-Strike teams in the world. They are also the undisputed best team in the world, as they have won six major titles in the past year. For example, Astralis has recently won the coveted FACEIT London Major, and the BLAST Pro Series Istanbul title as well. The team was founded in 2016 by a group of knowledgeable players and staff from various European organizations.
Like their Counter-Strike team, Astralis should bring a good support staff, good training environment, and a winning pedigree to the EU LCS. Granted, it will be much harder for the Danes to find success as they have in CSGO. The game is completely different from Counter-Strike, as League of Legends goes through multiple changes every few weeks. However, there are a plethora of very good free agents available after the denial of five current EU LCS teams. Additionally, the coaching staff they find must be top-notch, in order to have a chance at success next year. As many League fans know, the people behind the scenes are just as important as the people on stage. Astralis should provide a great base for their players to stand on.
Meanwhile, fan favorite caster Deficio has a difficult decision to make. As the man headlining this venture for Astralis, he can become a full-time staff member for the team. However, he would have to give up his duties as a play-by-play caster for the EU LCS. This could be a great chance for Deficio to broaden his work, going from player to caster to possibly a managerial position. He also has great knowledge about the game and has Danish ties to the organization.
Lynge would previously play for the Copenhagen Wolves under CEO Jakob Lund Kristensen. Kristensen is now the executive vice president of sales for RFRSH Entertainment, the parent company of Astralis. As a result, sources say that Kristensen and Lynge would maintain a cordial relationship. In 2015, Riot would suspend Deficio for four weeks after allegedly tampering with players as a manager on Copenhagen Wolves.
All in all, Astralis should be a great addition to the EU LCS, and hopefully that brings a fire to the rest of the competition.
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Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.