North American League scene is saying goodbye to one of its founding members.
LCS reporter and content creator Travis Gafford reported at the start of the week that CLG owner, The Madison Square Garden Company, was laying off nearly all of its staff and selling its League of Legends team in order to exit the esports industry altogether. Social media today was full of former CLG players and staff announcing their departure from the organization, which meant the eyes started to slowly turn toward an NRG announcement, the org rumored to buy the LCS team.
It wasn’t a long wait as NRG shared an announcement video on their Twitter account, confirming they are back to competing in League of Legends and acquiring CLG. In a separate video NRG released from their LoL Twitter account, which was formerly CLG LoL, the company CEO Andy Miller also affirmed the former CLG LCS staff will also be joining the NRG’s new LoL division along with the players.
Announcing our long-awaited return to the LCS.
— NRG (@NRGgg) April 6, 2023
NRG’s second chance in the NA LCS
This isn’t NRG’s first attempt at League of Legends. The organization had previously competed in the NA LCS back in 2016 after they purchased Team Coast’s slot. Despite building some ambitious rosters, NRG never found too much success in their two splits in NA LCS, even getting relegated during the 2016 Summer Split. After failing to promote for the 2017 Spring, the organization left the scene. But Miller said in the announcement video that their fans have been asking for a return ever since.
“We promised we would get back in. If you go back and look at the Tweet the day we left League of Legends and LCS, we said we were going to work our way back in,” Miller reminded the fans in the video. “Here we are.”
Two important details in the announcement were Miller thanking MSG as a major shareholder in NRG Esports and saying the LCS team’s brand would be changed to NRG at some point when Riot allows. The latter point might mean the team will play out the 2023 Summer Split under the name CLG. This happened last year in China’s LPL, when Victory Five played out the year under the name V5, despite the organization announcing its sale and rebranding to Ninjas in Pyjamas.
LCS also put out a statement on Twitter, welcoming NRG back into the league. They also thanked CLG for their contributions to the scene since its inception, saying, “The LCS also salutes the incredible legacy of CLG. One of the founding members of NA LCS back in 2013, Counter Logic Gaming is an inextricable part of our history over the last decade, and an organization whose impact on North American esports cannot be overstated.”
As the team’s LCS Spring Split is over after their 0-3 loss to Cloud9 during the Spring Playoffs, the next chance for NRG fans to catch their new team play will be in the 2023 LCS Summer Split, which will kick off on June 1.
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