Current reigning world champions, Samsung Galaxy, were bought by KSV eSports confirming the rumors that have been surrounding the team this off-season. Samsung Galaxy recently resigned every player that was up for free agency on their team. KSV is a new name in the esports scene as they announced ownership of Lunatic-Hai and eventually the South Korean team for the Overwatch league, Seoul Dynasty. They decided to venture into Heroes of the Storm by signing on MVP Black. The company currently signed a PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds roster that is ranked first on the Korean/Japan server.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that KSV entered League of Legends, the surprise is more that they bought the reigning champions instead of another team. There are some reasons why Samsung decided to sell its team, here are some broken down.
an offer you can’t refuse
KSV is a joint effort between Silicon Valley and Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam. He is the co-founder of the entertainment company, which has a focus on free to play games on mobile devices. Basically, there is a lot of money in this company where they are stable enough to buy all these top-tier teams. According to sources, the entry fee for the Overwatch league was $20 million. So far money doesn’t seem to be a problem for this company and the price never seems too high.
It’s possible that KSV made Samsung an offer so high that Samsung thought it would be better to take the money and run, despite their team performing well. Samsung’s only ties to esports anymore was just their League of Legends teams after the Starcraft 2 scene in South Korea became defunct. They never ventured past those two games, it wouldn’t be surprising if they saw it as something that is nice to have, but something they don’t need to have.
Another thing to note is that it’s possible Samsung Galaxy was bleeding money for the company. In order to be competitive in the League of Legends Champions Korea, you need to be able to keep a good roster. Samsung Galaxy already proved they have a world-class roster but in order to maintain that they have to pay a competitive salary compared to other esports and traditional sports teams. The cost of maintaining a roster along with staff and all their needs might not have been deemed worth it in the long run.
Especially when the main sponsor of the team is the company that owns it, while other sponsors might help put a dent in the spending. In the end, Samsung had to find a balance between sponsorships without it overshadowing their free advertisement while trying to make money. That could have caused too much of a headache, so giving up the team to a company who is more esports focused and can pay up a high price may have been too good to pass up. Until then Samsung will have to wait and see if they got the better deal or not.
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Cover photo by Riot Esports