The League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) has announced that French organisation and current EMEA Masters Summer 2023 champions Karmine Corp will be joining the LEC.
They will be taking over the LEC spot of Astralis at the start of the 2024 Winter Split.
Astralis, meanwhile, will depart the LEC after three years of competition. All Astralis players will become free agents from the start of the upcoming offseason, and Astralis is ‘entitled to all proceeds from the sale of its spot in the league’.
Karmine Corp will continue to compete in the French LFL alongside the LEC, with their LFL roster used as an academy team that will focus on developing emerging talents.
Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA at Riot Games, said: “Astralis has been a valued partner to us throughout its time in the LEC, and we wish the organisation the very best with its future endeavours.
“But we know its spot will be in capable hands with Karmine Corp.
“We also know how locally resonant the organisation is in France – a country that is a major force in EMEA LoL Esports – and 2024 will be the season we find out whether that ERL dominance translates to the LEC stage.”
A press release added: “The French community has consistently been one of the loudest and most passionate in the EMEA region. At our recent 2023 LEC Season Finals in Montpellier, in the Occitanie region, we were blown away by the support our teams received from the French crowd – and we can’t wait to welcome Karmine Corp’s loyal fanbase to the LEC.”
Qualifying to the La Ligue Française (LFL) First Division in 2021, Karmine Corp went on to win two LFL titles and four EMEA Masters trophies, making the team one of the most decorated organisations in the EMEA Masters ecosystem.
Now they have a chance to shine on the bigger European stage – the LEC.
‘It’ll take as long as it takes but we’ll finish world champions’ – Karmine Corp on joining the LEC and future goals
Karmine Corp founders Kameto, Prime and Kotei, and CEO Arthur Perticoz, discuss the entry into the LEC.
Kameto said: “It’s my dream. When I created the club, it was to go and play Worlds. The only way to get there is through the LEC.
“To qualify for Worlds, that would be amazing. Winning Worlds in year one… let’s take it slowly! I’m a dreamer, you know. I’m a very big dreamer, but it won’t happen in year one. But then again, you never know!
“For me, this will enable us to close the gap with the Asian teams. It’s all about training and nurturing young talent, and putting them in that esports mold, in the competition mold.”
“We’re not aiming for victory in the LEC, we’re aiming for the World Championship in five to ten years. There’s no point in burning everything to win the LEC in the first year,” CEO Arthur Perticoz added. “It would be the worst possible decision and I wouldn’t make it.”
“It’ll take as long as it takes but we’ll finish world champion,” said Kotei.
Why were Karmine Corp chosen?
A press release read: “The selling team has the final say on which team their spot is sold to, as long as the purchasing team fits Riot’s criteria for a partnered organisation.
“The LEC works closely with both the selling team and applicants throughout the selling process, and reserves the right to veto applicants on evaluation of various aspects of their application. But, the final decision is made by the selling and purchasing organisations.”
In terms of what the review process look like for teams wanting to enter the league, the release stated: “The LEC conducts a detailed review into any prospective partnered teams’ ownership group, brand and fandom, business history and objectives, as well as their approach to player development and performance. Based on this criteria, teams are either vetoed, or can progress to finalise negotiations with the selling team.”
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.