With the LCS teams already ranked by apparel categories, their strengths and weaknesses have already been outlined. Some organizations seem to take great pride in their apparel options, offering high-quality, creative clothing across many different styles. Others don’t seem barely interested in apparel and merchandise in general. Here are pieces of advice for each LCS team, with regards to apparel.
100T are actually in a really good spot, as far as apparel goes. They have staples that any fan can grab. They have a brand that has spread beyond esports. And they have taken some risks that have paid off, including their recent Country Club line.
Therefore, 100T should try another new idea and see if it lands. One idea would be prep Thieves. Imagine Polo Ralph Lauren crossing with 100T’s Foundations collection. A short-sleeve black rugby with “100 THIEVES” written in red across white under the collar, and a small shite “100T” logo on the left chest. The wearer would pop the collar to show the branding. There could be a matching belt with thin black bordering, a thick white middle, and “100 THIEVES” written across either side.
C9 also have a solid selection of apparel, especially since dropping an exclusive line in PacSun stores. This line brings some looks outside of C9’s typical box, including a tracksuit and long-sleeve hockey-inspired jersey. These options are very cool, and demonstrate why C9 have some of the best apparel in the LCS.
One apparel area C9 should push further is the shoes. With their Puma partnership, C9 offers the RS-Z Sneakers, which are essentially the only shoe option across all LCS apparel. They look like Logitech headphones morphed into footwear, with soft, structured, light blue detailing over a foamy black base. C9 should take more risk, and try something like the Puma Speedcat or even Puma Suede. These would appeal to a broader audience and allow for more C9 expression beyond their general fitness aesthetic.
CLG is in an interesting spot in the apparel department. They actually have a few solid accessories to pick from, and a unique Pride jersey. However, their standard shirts, hoodies, etc. could use some more vision and creativity. They suffer from being basic, cookie-cutter pieces, for the most part.
Honestly, CLG can look to their sister organizations within the Madison Square Garden umbrella for inspiration. The New York Knicks offer a laid-back heather gray and blue crew-neck sweatshirt. The New York Rangers have several t-shirts that stand out, including the Fanatics Lundqvist. CLG should use more big block lettering, and spell out their name on apparel. It is way more engaging and interesting than the actual CLG logo in most cases.
DIG just might have the worst apparel options in the entire LCS. Their store offers 13 items to pick from, all of which are t-shirts and jerseys. Sure, the striped Pride tee is a nice option, and the jerseys are decent, but the rest of the collection is just too basic. Fans would settle for any hoodie at this point. Get a black hoodie and put a yellow Dignitas logo right in the center. Slap a 60-dollar price tag on it–boom, easy money.
This lack of options is like a blank canvas. DIG can go in any direction they want. Yellow is their eye-catching color, so they should lean into specifically that color when designing the merch. Honestly, DIG should just rip off Hufflepuff from Harry Potter. Something like this Triwizard shirt or this Spirit jersey could look really cool converted to Dignitas branding.
EG have a tough task, because white and dark blue or black are such a basic color scheme used across esports. Using too many colors would go against the whole evil vibe. On top of that, TSM has owned the black and white colorway in League of Legends since 2009. At the moment, EG offers a few decent apparel options, but mostly the stock standard stuff.
One way to work around the color issue and still stand out is sticking to a style that separates from the LCS pack. For example, EG should bring on a sleek, professional collection that uses technological materials with specific details. Something like this Under Armour seamless polo in midnight blue with a raised, bright white EG logo on the chest could work.
While FlyQuest don’t have a huge selection of apparel, the options they offer are generally unique and inspired. They have come a long way from the flying eye and Snickers jersey metas. FLY have leaned into their eco-friendly, conservationist, positive mindset branding, and expanded their apparel and jerseys to invoke it. Their most recent jersey features pastel yellow, purple and pink tropical leaves on a white background, with a green hummingbird landing on the FLY logo. It is beautiful, which is not a common ethos within the LCS or the broader esports community.
So FLY don’t need any help with finding the style and culture of their apparel. They just need to expand and offer more options beyond a couple of jerseys, some extremely basic shirts and hats, and flavor-of-the-month limited-time apparel. They should apply the floral and natural details to their standard tees, hoodies, and more. Check out this floral raglan sleeve tee from SHEIN, for example. They could try incorporating v-neck shirts. And if they want to push the boundary even more for esports apparel, FLY could release their own floral tie.
Golden Guardians have the second-worst apparel options in the LCS. They offer 11 pieces, including their jersey (not counting Melee-specific merch). The quality of the options is the only reason GG is rated higher than DIG. GG’s tees and hoodies look like decent quality, and the simplicity isn’t a bad thing. they just need to offer a wider volume and more creative options.
Like CLG, Golden Guardians have a sister team in the NBA–the Golden State Warriors. Unlike CLG, Golden Guardians have similar team colors, making it way easier to cross over apparel directly. One quick way for GG to stand out would be converting the Golden State basketball jersey into a GG alternate jersey. It’s a white jersey with thick, royal blue outlining the neck and shoulder, thin yellow edging, the logo in the center with “GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS” wrapping around it in a circle. This is the type of product that brings sports fans into the fold, and no one else in the LCS has something like this.
Most people might not realize that IMT has a decent shop of apparel. Their options are rarely seen on LCS broadcast or elsewhere, beyond the standard jersey. IMT currently offer a few variations of hoodies, sweatshirts, tees and a hat in their Essentials collection. They’re coming out with a cool, colorful Northern Lights jersey, while also carrying some graphic tees, some performance apparel in partnership with Point3, and a PC glove, of all things.
So Immortals have the basics covered, but they are missing something important. None of their apparel has a green base. Their main color is a kind of aquamarine, but all of their apparel is black or white with the aquamarine details. The best place to start is creating a hat, and, luckily, there is already a blueprint. Several pro sports teams offer a mint-on-mint New Era flat brim hat. This would be perfect for IMT to try with their logo, and a slightly darker color. It would stand out in the crowd.
TL are hard to offer apparel advice to, because they offer a huge variety of options, several top-shelf options and have taken risks along the way with styles for pretty much anyone. Even now, they released new apparel including unique hoodies, tees, bags, jerseys and even a plush of their mascot Blue. TL includes diverse models, even offering women’s options regularly.
Really the only area they haven’t touched is business casual or formalwear. TL offer a simple oxford buttondown with a light horse logo, but they could lean more into this lane. The most straightforward idea would be a blue blazer with a TL pin or pattern lining. They would need to make sure it isn’t stuffy or antique. William Murray’s Serious Business Performance Blazer is a good template, as the four-way stretch and moisture-wicking would balance the classic professional look with more casual esports culture.
Lastly, what to do with TSM? Despite everything said about the other teams, TSM might be the most difficult to help on this list. Their colors are black and white. All teams seem to want their jerseys to be black or dark blue, or use black, grey or white as the base for all their apparel. TSM have a decent collection to pick from, and most of it looks higher quality. That said, they are also mostly basic. Only the Smoke Tiger and Dragon tees and their iconic Varsity jacket stand out against the pack.
The truth is–no pro sports teams use only black and white in their apparel and stand out. The San Antonio Spurs, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the LA Kings do not stand out when scrolling through the NBA, NFL and NHL stores. The New York Yankees are the closest, and they technically use blue and white.
The best advice would be start adding a specific tertiary color to most of their apparel. Looking at the top 10 global esports orgs, the top 10 global League of Legends orgs, and the 10 LCS orgs, the best color would be purple. No other org is using it. It’s the color of royalty. Purple doesn’t stand out much against black, but it can bring more iconic detail to simple apparel. Look at this hoodie from the Sacramento Kings to get an idea of what TSM could do.
Every LCS team could do more for their apparel options, some more than others. Whether it is expanding the basics, including more diverse options, or taking more risks, every organization has the freedom to try something new. They can look to traditional sports, various fashion outlets, or even other fandoms for inspiration. With esports still relatively new, the merch and apparel departments still have plenty to learn.