League of Legends pros can now stream any game
Riot Games has reversed its policy on the unfavorable LCS streaming policy which originally forbid pro League of Legends players from streaming a variety of games that Riot viewed as rival competitors.
Leaked contracts for the 2014 season revealed a list of 27 games that professional players were restricted from playing including Diablo, StarCraft, Warcraft, Guardians of Middle-Earth, Heroes of Newerth and Infinite Crisis, to name a few. Most notable on the list of restrictions was Valve's Dota 2, easily the biggest rival to League of Legends.
Following fan outcry, Riot has revised its contract to allow the streaming of any game; however, an LCS player may not accept sponsorship from other game companies to promote other titles. Whalen Rozelle, Director of eSports at Riot Games, posted the following statement to the League of Legends subreddit:
There’s been a ton of discussion around our LCS team contracts, which stipulated active LCS players couldn’t stream a variety of other games.
First, background on why we did this: there’ve been instances of other game studios trying to buy access to League fans by using (or trying to use) LCS teams/players to promote their competing games on stream.
The way we chose to deal with this was clearly an overreach. It hit our goal of preventing companies from advertising through LCS players, but it also encroached on pros’ ability to have fun and entertain viewers during long Challenger queues – and we realize that’s not cool.
After reading all of your comments and having a LOT of internal debate over the last 24 hours, we’re going to be changing the LCS team requirement to something that more closely matches our intent. While under contract to the LCS, teams and players can’t accept sponsorship from other game companies to promote other titles. Besides that, they are free to stream any games they want.
I'll be hanging around to answer questions if you guys have any. Thanks for helping us make a better decision on this.
This is undoubtedly a huge win for fans and streamers as it shows Riot does actually listen to the fans. Even a few Rioters chimed in on the topic, adding that the original contract seemed very "un-Riot"-like. I agree.