French powerhouse Karmine Corp (often referred to as KCorp) has acquired Astralis’ franchise slot, marking its official entry into the League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC).

The team is set to make its debut in LEC Winter 2024.

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As a result of this acquisition, Astralis will no longer be participating in the EMEA esports league. Starting from the upcoming offseason, all of its players will transition to become free agents.

In addition to their new venture, Karmine Corp will also maintain their presence in the Ligue Française de League of Legends (LFL). They will utilize their LFL roster as an academy team, dedicating it to the development of promising young talents.

Astralis sells majority of its LEC slot to Karmine Corp for US$18M

“We found the price and conditions to be very promising, which is why we decided to sell,” stated Astralis CEO Anders Hørsholt.

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Astralis is actually first selling its LEC slot to a new company they’ve formed, AK-Game SAS, with an estimated value of US$27 million.

Later, Karmine Corp SAS will purchase 66.67% of the shares in AK-Game SAS for US$18 million. This transaction will occur gradually between 2023 and 2025.

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Astralis will retain ownership of 33.33% of the shares in AK-Game SAS. There’s an option in the agreement that allows Astralis to sell more shares, potentially up to 100%, to KCorp by 2031.

Karmine Corp jersey on Rekkles at LFL
Credit: Karmine Corp

“We know how locally resonant the organization is in France — a country that is a major force in EMEA LoL Esports — and 2024 will be the season we find out whether that ERL dominance translates to the LEC stage,” said Maximilian Peter Schmidt, Director of League of Legends Esports EMEA at Riot Games.

Established in 2020, KCorp quickly rose to prominence in the LFL and European Regional Leagues (ERL). In 2021, they secured a spot in the LFL First Division and went on to win two LFL titles and four EMEA Masters trophies. This success has made them one of the most accomplished organizations in the EMEA Masters ecosystem.

Notably, players like Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and Adam “Adam” Maanane have previously competed with them in the LFL.

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