Riot Games announced Wednesday that it has approved 2023 EMEA Masters Summer Champions Karmine Corp taking over the LEC spot from Astralis. Riot said in a release that the team will make its debut during the 2024 LEC Winter Split.
“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,” said Maximilian Peter Schmidt, director of League of Legends Esports EMEA at Riot Games, in a release. “But we know its spot will be in capable hands with Karmine Corp. LEC fans have wanted to see the team in the league for some time now, which is in part, due to the incredible strength of the organisation’s brand and its loyal and passionate fan base, something that has been showcased since its entry into the EMEA Masters ecosystem. 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.”
Further, Riot said that Karmine Corp will continue to compete in the LFL alongside the LEC, with that roster to be used as an academy team that will focus on developing talent. The company also noted that it did not get a cut of the proceeds from the sale of slot: “Astralis is entitled to all proceeds from the sale of its spot in the league.”
In a separate release, Astralis announced that it has entered into an agreement with Karmine Corp to “transfer” its LEC slot to a newly formed entity called AK-Game SAS at a valuation of DKK 194M, or roughly $27.4M USD. Karmine Corp SAS will acquire 66.67 % of the shares in AK-Game SAS for DKK 129M, or roughly $18.22M USD.
The actual sale of the slot will take a bit long, according to the announcement, because payment will be made in tranches from 2023 – 2025, and Astralis will retain a capital interest in AK-Game SAS of 33.33%, with agreement allowing for the company to trigger additional share transfers, up to ceding 100% of the shares to Karmine Corp SAS by 2031.
Further, Astralis said in its announcement that it estimates the net gain before tax from the sale in 2023 will be DKK 153M ($21.6M USD), with an estimated aggregated cash flow effect for 2023 – 2025 of DKK 112M, or $15.81M USD.