Everything You Need to Know About CBLoL Franchising

The finals between paiN Gaming and INTZ Saturday, Sept. 5, will be the last chapter before the Brazilian Championship of League of Legends (CBLoL) switches to a franchise model. Announced by Riot Games for 2021, the franchise has a fixed buy-in value by Riot at 4M BRL (around $740K USD) to organizations that are already part of the current CBLoL circuit. For those that were not currently part of it, the price is 4.4M BRL (around $830K USD).

Sources in contact with TEO allege that Riot told applying organizations to not talk to the press about the subject, but there is evidence of the application of several leading esports organizations including INTZ, Gamelanders/Final Level, Rensga Esports, and Flamengo Esports. The Brazilian sports news website GE also listed Black Dragons, Black Hawks, Havan Liberty, Falkol Esports, Redemption eSports, paiN Gaming, KaBum! e-Sports, Team One, LOUD, Red Canids, Cruzeiro, Santos HotForex, FURIA, Prodigy Esports, and Vivo Keyd as applicants. 

The listed organizations that were not part of the CBLoL or its Challenger Circuit, and therefore will have to pay 400K BRL (roughly $76K) more in comparison to others, are Black Dragons, Gamelanders, LOUD, Cruzeiro, and the American organization Black Hawks, mainly known for its Quake team. 

All applicants are subject to evaluation by Riot Games to be allowed into the franchise. Riot told TEO that the details of the business plans, brand strategy, and infrastructure for pro-players will be evaluated. Organizations will be rated for their professionalism and capabilities to sustain successful business, financial, and image models to carry on. The changes are indicative of Riot’s lack of tolerance for disputes, image crisis, or delays in payments by the teams to players, stakeholders, or to Riot. 

The application period ended on June 28, and after hearings and analysis of the delivered documents, it is expected that Riot Games will announce the approved teams on Oct. 25. After the switch to the franchise model, the access division to the CBLoL known as Challenger Circuit (or “Big Circuit” as it is known locally) will cease to exist, opening space for a league of academy teams.

According to GE, after gaining approval, organizations will have until Nov. 16 to make the first payment installment of the franchising fee. The website also states that Riot’s initial plan is to work with 10 organizations in its franchise. Considering the 19 known applicants, traditional organizations are at risk to be left out. 

Organizations are using different strategies to gather funds for the buy-in. INTZ, for example, is seeking external investments, while Simplicity Esports, the managing company behind Flamengo Esports, is selling 7.5% of its shares in the team.

The 2020 season of CBLoL will finish with a dispute between two of the most traditional organizations in Brazil, paiN Gaming and INTZ (a clash that is known in the country as “PAINTZ”) in a live event after the whole championship had been disputed remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Riot Games did not announce the venue where it will be happening to avoid big crowds, and strict safety measures were taken, including  testing all the players, reducing the organization crew, and hiring medical consultants and sanitizing crews. The match starts at 4 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on Riot’s official YouTube and Twitch channels, LoL eSports BR.

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