- The French esports organization bought Astralis’ LEC slot
- Astralis still owes a majority of the newly formed subsidiary AK-Game SAS
- All of Astralis’ players will become free agents from the start of the upcoming offseason
Ketamine Corps has entered high-level professional League of Legends after acquiring an LEC spot after buying it from Danish esports organization Astralis.
Kcorps Enters LEC
Astralis has become the latest organization to leave the professional League of Legends scene after selling its slot in the LEC to French esports franchise Ketamine Corp. As a result, the French organization will join the LEC in 2024 and compete under its own branding.
Karmine Corp has acquired the slot by purchasing 66.67% of a newly formed subsidiary AK-Game SAS for DKK 129 million, or $18.23 million. This means that Astralis will still own a minority stake in the League of Legends franchise slot, however, thanks to the deal containing special provisions, the Danish organization can trigger additional. If Astralis desires, the transfer could cede 100% of the AK-Game SAS shares to Kcorp by 2031.
As a result of the transaction, all Astralis players will become free agents from the start of the upcoming offseason. This means that Astralis becomes the latest League of Legends franchise to depart the scene by selling its slot, following the example of TSM who sold its North American league (LCS) franchise to Shopify Rebellion earlier this year. Meanwhile, Kcorp doesn’t have much experience in the high-level competitive LoL field, and will therefore act as an Academy team for the time being.
That being said, Kcorp has already competed in games like VALORANT as a VCT EMEA partner team and in Rocket League. It is also the current 2023 EMEA Masters Summer Champion, a semi-professional tournament englobing 13 League of Legends European Regional Leagues (ERL), so they should have a stable foundation on which to build.
Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA at Riot Games, Maximilian Peter Schmidt, talked about Astralis’ decision to sell their slot and pointed out the organization has been a valuable partner throughout the years and wished it the best in future endeavors. “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 organization’s brand and its loyal and passionate fan base, something that has been showcased since its entry into the EMEA Masters ecosystem,” he further commented.
Established by popular streamers Kamel “Kameto” Kebir and Zouhair “Kotei” Darji in 2020, Karmine Corp has proven itself within the French esports ecosystem and abroad. This foray into high-level competitive League of Legends is yet another field in which the organization will now have the chance to make a name for itself.