A new year marks a new beginning, and 2018 is the year that marks the significance of esports. There will be new systems implemented this year for the popular esports title like League of Legends, and Overwatch, as well as esports being listed as a medal event at the Asian Games.
League of Legends Esports is switching to the franchising model, starting with NA LCS
Riot Games has been talking about it since 2016 and they are finally switching to the franchising model instead of the previous relegation system in the North America League of Legends Championship Series. The franchise model makes every team owner a partner and their respective team will be in the league every single season. Teams who are interested to join will have to apply and wait for Riot's approval before becoming one of the partners. It is not an easy process at all, teams have to be transparent with their business handling including players' salary.
Revenue sharing is practiced in the franchise model to help every team in the league to stay competitive. EVery team will have a fixed amount of revenue and top placed teams will have extra as a reward. NA LCS players will have a stable income of at least $75,000 and the total amount of all every players' salary must be at least 35% of the revenue.
We will definitely see changes to the NA LCS in the next few year and beyond, for instance, changes to the revenue sharing model, league expansion, and more.
The teams that will be participating in the upcoming league are Team Liquid, Team Solomid, 100 Thieves, OpTic Gaming, Clutch Gaming, Golden Guardians, Echo Fox, FlyQuest, Counter Logic Gaming, and Cloud 9. NA LCS regular season begins this 21 January, with Team Liquid facing defending champions, Team Solomid in the opening match.
Head over to the LoL Esports official webpage for more information on the NA LCS franchising model.
Overwatch League is a professional esports league for Overwatch which is developed and overseen by Blizzard Entertainment. Similar to the North America League of Legends Championship Series, Overwatch League will also be utilizing the franchise model rather than the promotion and relegation system.
Every player in Overwatch League is guaranteed a minimum salary of $50,000 a year as well as other benefits like health care and a portion of revenue sharing based on team performance during the regular season.
Overwatch League was first introduced to fans back in BlizzCon 2016 and it is finally happening. There are 12 teams who will be participating in the inaugural season of Overwatch League and these teams are Boston Uprising, Dallas Fuel, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, New York Excelsior, Philadelphia Fusion, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, and Shanghai Dragons. All of these teams will have their own home and away hero skins as part of Blizzard's initiative to make spectating Overwatch games easier.
The regular season will begin on 11th January 2018 and the first match will start at 8am Malaysian time between San Francisco Shock and Los Angeles Valiant, and the entire season will run through June 2018, followed by post-season playoffs and the All-Star weekend in July.
Visit the Overwatch League official website to learn more about the teams, players, schedule, and the league itself.
Esports as a medal event in Asian Games
Back in April 2017, the Olympic Council of Asia announced that esports will officially be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in China. If you're asking what does this have to do with 2018, well, esports will be a demonstration event at this year's Asian Games that will take place in Indonesia as part of a run-up to the official inclusion in the 2022 Asian Games.
Alisports, the sports arm of Chinese online retail giant, Alibaba, is primarily responsible for helping esports taking this huge step forward. The 2018 Asian Games will be held at Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, from 18 August till 2 September. The games that are said to be featured at the event are FIFA 17, MOBA games, and "Real Time Attack" games.