Past and Present
One team per organization rules have affected us before, but never like this. We’ve had EG and not-EG-but-Alliance, we’ve had the Samsung breakups in more recent months, but now, with the entrance of Curse Academy into the LCS, it’s hitting closer to home. CA and the main Curse roster have scrimmaged and even lived intimately. With how cutthroat the NA scene has been with things like CLG poaching DIG talent and Coast giving up opponents’ strategies to preferable other team, things could go two very different directions as half the Curse dynasty goes their own way. They may stick together as close training partners and propel each other to the top spots in the LCS or they may divulge all of each others dirty little secrets and weaknesses.
The Changing Landscape
With even more restrictions on organizations being put through so often, it is becoming harder and harder for fans to become loyal to certain teams instead of just following individual players wherever they end up, an edge the professional sports arena will continue to have on eSports that begins with their being no local eSports teams. Getting back to the CA example, Curse Owner Liquid112 said back in September he wouldn’t take anything less than $75k for the sale of CA. This brings up an interesting problem because he absolutely must sell the team so he’s at the mercy of buyers to abide by the rules at all. One on hand, the team is absolutely worth the $75k because of how powerful the team is and how high the premiums on LCS spots are, and what young investor wouldn’t kill to own a pro-gaming team. On the other, it would get very interesting if all potential buyers could keep their cash from burning holes in their pockets long enough to make Steve Arhancet sweat a little bit.
More on Liquid
I’m not saying Steve’s a bad guy or should be forced to play hardball, but it may begin to happen this way if the eSports market ever begins to get flooded, but that’s a problem we would love to have. I think Steve genuinely does care about his players and has had the foresight and fortitude to make two fantastic teams.
One of the biggest reasons for the one team per organization rule is avoiding collusion if the two teams were to meet in high level matches, but that doesn’t stop us from letting Olympic teammates compete against each other. Competitors of the ultimate calibur very rarely care about the money or the fame, but it holds just as true that big organizations do care about the cash. One team or many, we need more oversight on each company involved. An organization with just one team can screw up an event or an entire scene just as easily as an organization with 2+. I think there is more to be gained by an organization having two teams than there is to be lost, but as eSports and Riot specifically strive for the most competitive integrity, nearly nothing will remain perfectly optimal.