Team SoloMid, Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid will reportedly be continuing on into the franchised 2018 NA LCS, according to a report from ESPN Esports' Jacob Wolf.
According to Wolf, each team will have to pay half of the $10 million franchise fee prior to 2018 Spring Split, however the other $5 million will be paid in installments over several years.
While three of the four teams have secured high profile investments over the past two years and TSM have big money backers, Wolf says TSM will "run an investment round for a minority stake in their corporation in the coming months."
Madison Square Garden Company, the corporation behind the arena of the same name as well as several sports teams, bought a controlling share of CLG in July. Cloud9 secured a Series A financing round in March for an undisclosed amount, however investors included Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and legendary quarterback Joe Montana. That financing round also included Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya whose team Wolf reported secured their own NA LCS slot on Oct. 13.
In September 2016, Team Liquid was acquired by an ownership group called aXiomatic eSports that included a wide variety of notable figures including Magic Johnson and Peter Guber, another co-owner of the Golden State Warriors who also co-owns the L.A. Dodgers and the Los Angeles Football Club.
Over the past week, Wolf has reported that 2017 NA LCS participants Phoenix1, Team Envy and Team Dignitas have had their applications rejected. However, there's not word yet as to the fate of the remaining 2017 Summer Split teams Immortals, Echo Fox and FlyQuest.
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.