Riot Games not making money from League of Legends Championship Series
Riot Games may be making history with the League of Legends Championship Series, but they sure aren't making any money from it. Currently, Riot is set out to revolutionize competitive eSports, with professional teams (and salaried players) and a season of weekly competitive matchups that culminate in a championship playoff series. Even as Season 3 comes to a close, Riot admits it's still a work in progress -- but more importantly it's a "significant investment" that the company isn't currently making money from.
Speaking to PCGamesN, Riot's eSports head Dustin Beck admitted, "It’s a significant investment that we’re not making money from. It’s an investment into the game, for our fans, just like we’d invest in any other feature within the game. It’s a worthwhile thing for us to do because it’s such a high quality, engaging experience for our fans.
“What we’ve really done is we’ve mimicked what traditional sports do,” Beck explained. “We wanted to create a consistent league structure similar to FIFA, similar to MLB or NBA. What that allows for is more fandom and more storylines around players, around teams, around rivalries. What we learned from last year doing this one big tournament last year... was that it was really hard for fans to have a big following or an allegiance to a specific team. Now that we’ve done this regular season and we’ve created this large platform for viewers to watch, it’s actually a more compelling, more rewarding experience for the championship.”
The big question is what is Riot's end game goal? Do they want to make money from the LCS? Do they want to eventually be accepted into mainstream media and have League of Legends be featured on television like traditional sports?
“We are not focused on broadcast TV for the time being. We think our fans and our demographic consumes content via the internet,” Beck said. “TV might naturally evolve into something that does happen as a biproduct of how many people are watching it. But our fans aren’t concerned with consuming content via television; even if they are, they doing it through Netflix… not through traditional cable media.”
So then what is the overall plan? Does Riot really not care about making money on their LCS? If so, then kudos to them -- it's nice to see a company care about their game for the right reasons; this is the type of attitude you need from a leader in eSports.
For more information on League of Legends Season 3 World Championship, including tickets, click here.