(image: Riot Games)
Multi-national gaming team EnVyUs has officially purchased Renegades’ NA LCS spot. The move comes just 10 days after a Riot Games official ruling banned Renegades from participating in the upcoming summer split. EnVyUs’ decision, however, to get into the LCS wasn’t made at the spur of the moment.
“When we stepped into Counter-Strike it was a very big move for us, and a very expensive move,“ said Mike "Hastr0” Rufail, owner of Team EnVyUs. “We wanted to make sure we were able to handle it and I think we’ve proved that over the past year-and-a-half. We took the same approach getting into League of Legends. We wanted to do this for years but didn’t have the support and infrastructure to do so.”
While the buyout could seem spontaneous because of Riot’s ruling, the deal had truthfully been in the works for weeks.
“We were actually in talks with Renegades before their ban for two weeks. Before the ban we had been in contact with them about purchasing their LCS spot and had verbally reached an agreement basically on the Sunday that they were banned.” Hastr0 said.
Prior to the EnVyUs purchase, Riot released three competitive rulings earlier this month, two of which banned teams TDK and Renegades from competing in the upcoming split due to misconduct. Both TDK and REN also were forced to sell their LCS spot within a 10 day window from May 8-18.
The deal was set to go through smoothly. But following the ban, Renegades began to receive more offers, according to Hastr0. “They began to entertain offers which is very understandable,” he said. “It was OK because … we hadn’t reached the full term sheet yet it. We were in talks with other organizations in Europe and very close to reaching deals with teams there to merge.”
However, before Wednesday’s deadline, Riot approved the purchase of Renegades’ spot.
“We were ultimately able to close the deal with [former Renegades owner Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles] and I want to say that he was very, very helpful in working with me.” Hastr0 said. EnVyUs also consulted with former Renegades co-owner Chris Badawi.
When asked about the ban, Hastr0 admitted that most of his knowledge of the situation is limited to what he’s gathered from other industry pundits.
“You can never fault someone for being protective of what they’re building.” he stated, but declined to provide comment beyond that.
EnVyUs has secured transfer agreements for top laner Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong, and mid laner Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo from Team Dragon Knights and will be retaining Renegades support player Nickolas “Hakuho” Surgent. EnVyUs is in the middle of obtaining a “top notch” jungler, but declined to say who, and has been running tryouts for different ADCs over the past week. They plan to start off the split with a few substitutes as well.
“It’s the biggest stage in esports still, and the most globally watched game. It felt like a missing piece for the team if we wanted to really be considered as one of the top esports organizations in the world.” Hastr0 said. “We’re very player-centric, and focused on giving the players a platform to compete and focus on their careers as a competitor.”
The team owner is confident that he can field a roster that will perform well despite the restraints of joining the LCS mid-season. “We want to win,” Hastr0 said. “There is no other expectation. Obviously we have to build on it and work to put in the right pieces and move things around and evolve. It’s the same approach with any game that we enter into. We want to win, it’s that simple.”
Dylan Walker is on Twitter @dyluux.