Four European League Championship Series teams have applied for charter membership in the North American League Championship Series, sources close to the teams and Riot Games told ESPN.
G2 Esports, Fnatic, Splyce and Misfits submitted applications before a July 28 deadline to apply, the sources said.
The applications are a result of the lack of communication to teams regarding the future of the European League Championship Series, sources said. The teams feel there is a clearer future to invest in North American League of Legends.
According to multiple sources, the teams independently submitted the applications with no collective effort to pressure Riot Games.
Misfits, Splyce and Riot declined to comment. Fnatic and G2 Esports did not respond to a request for comment.
Sources said that it was unlikely any of these teams would be accepted by Riot Games, given their existing footholds and brand establishment in Europe.
In the case they are accepted, those teams would need to relocate their League of Legends operations to Los Angeles, from their current homes in Berlin. They would also need to drop the majority of their players, because of the two-player import rule via Riot Games' interregional movement policy.
Splyce and Misfits executive operations are both based in North America. Splyce, which is based in Rochester, New York, has a financial investment from Delaware North, the parent company of Boston's TD Garden and the Boston Bruins. Misfits is based in Miami and has received investment from the Miami Heat.
Fnatic and G2 Esports, however, are based in Europe. G2 is a work-from-home organization, with its founder and CEO Carlos "Ocelote" Rodríguez based in Madrid, and other staffers spread out across Europe. Fnatic and its executive staff are located and have a store in London.
In June, Riot Games announced that the North American LCS will be moving to a franchising model in 2018. The entry cost for the league is $10 million for the current 10 participating teams, if accepted back into the league, and $13 million for teams not currently participating.
Riot Games will announce its members in November and had also announced that it had no plans to franchise the European branch of the league.
"Europe is a large and uniquely diverse region that spans multiple countries, cultures and ecosystems," Riot said in a June statement. "While this can be challenging, it is also a great opportunity. We are excited to further explore ways to deepen and strengthen our competitive ecosystem to benefit the many talented players, organisations and fans from all over Europe."