Today, Team Impulse announced via GameSpot that they’ll be selling their team, effectively opening the door for another organization to buy their way into the North American LCS. There seems to be little expectation that any players will come bundled into the deal: plenty of innuendo is going around that most or all of Team Impulse’s 2015 roster has already departed.
Who might throw their hat in the ring to buy Team Impulse? This could be a short cut back to the big leagues for the losers of the Promotion Tournament, Enemy and Team Arena Online (formerly Team Dragon Knights). TAO, in particular, might feel hard done by in their previous split, given the logistical issues they faced. If they think they’re ready for another crack at sticking in the LCS, they may jump at this chance.
Some of the Challenger scene’s big money will probably have their ears perked up at this news. There were multiple money-backed squads competing in, or attempting to qualify for, the Challenger Series, in the back half of 2015. Buying players didn’t work out so well for Odyssey Gaming or Team Imagine, but maybe some of those owners think they’ll have better luck if they buy straight into the LCS and don’t have to worry about navigating a hit-or-miss qualifier tournament.
New owners are always a possibility, too. We’ve seen an influx of venture capital in multiple LCS organizations, most notably Immortals, the re-branding of Team8 after they were recently bought out. With Team Dignitas still on the market (the organization is accepting offers on both the North American or European squad), buyers might see the Team Impulse availability as a cheaper option, since Dignitas has more infrastructure and potentially more of its roster still intact, which will allow them to set their price higher. (Edit: A few hours after I wrote this, it was revealed that Dignitas had sold their European team.)
There are a lot of ways this could play out, and it could have big ripple effects on the rest of the NA LCS offseason. We’ve got tons of storylines to follow, and hopefully most of them will go unresolved for a few more weeks so we can have lots of time to dissect and speculate on the possibilities. Gotta love November!