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Rekkles' T1 Academy contract is longer than expected

Rekkles' T1 Academy contract is longer than expected
Image via T1

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch

Published 

19th Dec 2023 16:55

European AD Carry legend turned aspiring support player Erik "Rekkles" Larsson's contract has finally been entered into the League of Legends Global Contract Database (GDC), revealing the player's contract length he signed with T1.

Longer than anticipated, the end date may provide insight into Rekkles' future.

Two-year contract

Last week, T1 announced the unexpected signing of Rekkles to its academy roster, announcing that it would be incorporating the player as a support going into the LCK CL season. 

For Rekkles, it was a chance to practice against the World’s best teams in South Korea in a new role, improving his play and providing fresh tape to potentially interested teams if the player showed promise in the role.

With one of the longest-lasting careers in professional play, starting in 2012, he still has a substantial following in the League of Legends scene, and therefore, provides benefits to organisations outside his on-server performance.

While the detour via T1 Academy was seen as an unorthodox approach, it was still assumed to be only a temporary measure. However, as the GDC revealed, his contract is set to expire only after two years, on November 17, 2025.

Potential explanations

While the contract length appears unusually long for a player who would be 29 by the time it expires, especially in the context of most international leagues having an average of approximately 20 to 23, it might not be as set in stone as it appears.

With the likely goal of giving Rekkles enough experience to improve on the new role, for T1, the deal brings exposure, veterancy, and a potential buyout with it. Considering when contract negotiations tend to happen, a two-year contract will provide additional leverage to the organisation to help recoup its investment.

Moreover, League of Legends pro-level contracts historically have come with optionality on the side of the organisation, being able to legally end a contract before its official expiration date, minimising the risk on the team's side.

In his first month in South Korea, Rekkles has been taking on well, reaching challenger with a just below 70% win rate chance and currently sitting at 66% win rate, playing most of his matches on the support champion Janna.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

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