Philadelphia 76ers Buy 'League of Legends' LCS Spot, Will Compete As Dignitas

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Congratulations to the 76ers, the Philadelphia basketball team that just acquired a League of Legends team. They are the first North American professional sports organization to have their own esports team. Former NBA star Rick Fox owns Echo Fox in NA and German soccer team Schalke 04 owned a team in the European LCS. Buying an LCS team is risky business; Echo Fox was one game from losing their spot and Schalke 04 lost theirs in relegations.   

According to ESPN , the 76ers will officially announce sometime today they bought Apex’s spot and will function under the Dignitas brand. They will not be pushing the 76ers brand in esports, because according to Greg Richardson, a 76ers executive, the two fan bases wouldn’t mesh "and if you don't respect that you're in trouble."

It makes sense for them to use the Dignitas name instead of Apex. Dignitas is one of the oldest brands in League of Legends , with famous alumni all over the professional esports scene, like Imaqtpie and Voyboy. They are a brand with history, 13 years to be exact, and a fan base to match. It’s much easier piggybacking off of someone else's celebrity than it is to create your own.

What the 76ers are really banking on is the potential for successful merchandising. Esports jerseys and other brand tie-ins could potentially bring in huge bucks for the brand. Fanatics is the biggest online sports retailer in NA, and its owner Michael Rubin is a minority partner of the 76ers and also part of the deal.

We don’t know who will play on this new Dignitas, or even if Apex players like Xpecial will have a job in the Spring Split. The 76ers might want to start from the ground up and throw away all the team’s old players, instead finding rookies who ask for less money.   

 

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