French football club Paris St Germain is withdrawing from League of Legends after its roster failed to reach the EU LCS.
A post on the team’s website cites “numerous uncertainties” as PSG stepped up preparation for the 2018 season, and claimed that their experiences in the Challenger Series lead to questions internally about the economic balance of the competitive scene.
“The revenue sharing model offered by Riot Games is very far from compensating the costs of a structure with European ambitions,” claims the blog post. “Partly because of the strong inflation of pro-gamers salaries, in our mind unjustified regarding the audience numbers evolution of the last months.”
Not coincidentally, PSG announced at the same time that their head of esports Bora ‘YellowStar’ Kim have parted ways a year after Kim took up the role. Kim is responsible for building not just the League of Legends team that is now being phased out, but also picking out FIFA players and putting together a Rocket League team.
Bora is a former League of Legends pro that retired from competitive play in 2016. During his career he was perhaps best known for three years as a support with Fnatic. Unsurprisingly then, his departure is down to PSG’s position on League of Legends, leading to Bora and PSG mutually agreeing to call time on the relationship.
It raises a couple of questions about competitive League of Legends, as many football teams that might have been considering deepening their esports commitment might be put off by PSG’s claims that the salaries of a pro gamer might be a touch too high.
Regardless, PSG blazed a path into League of Legends that no European football club had touched before, and with the team promising new esports announcements for their next season, eyes will be on them to see what is next.