In 2012, one of the founders of Riot Games Brandon Beck talked about what would be the League of Legends eSports in 5 years. In his dreams cyber tournaments and their translation is not inferior to traditional sports in quality or heat of passion, and the best professional players became true legends. And although it was a very big words, even then, in 2012, we knew that all of these are important milestones on the way to the creation of global e-sports, which will be able successfully to exist for decades. We still do not converge with the intended path, so we would like to tell you that the future has come.
The future of e-sports LoL
Looking to 2017 and beyond, we imagine a future in which professional players have high salaries and long career and a cyber clubs – a successful enterprise whose owners share with us the responsibility for the prosperity of our sport in the long term. To bring this future, we plan to distribute the income of cyber initiatives and in collaboration with our partners to develop new business models and actively change the league. We want to see these partners were interested in the stability and earned thanks to the growing popularity of the sport.
We firmly intend to eSports League of Legends to outline our future.
How we will get there
If to explain simply – road to eSports is consist from three key components:
- Fan community
One component is a logical consequence of the other, but not all of the 13 world leagues LoL are equally well developed. For example, already established League (LPL, LCK, NA LCS, EU LCS) have a serious fan base and focus on in order to fine-tune economic processes. But other leagues have still only the foundations that was started by Brandon in 2012. We will analyze each of this component.
In our view of the community of fans hiding something much more than just a figure of the match spectators. For us fans – a community of people united by love to a one or another team, the individual players and entire leagues. This is a deep connection, and it occur when you rejoice, because your team has made a decisive “ace” and won the match, and when you fight in agony, because the club for which you are sick, flew out of the World Cup.
In addition, we believe that to root for your favorite team is better with someone who shares your passion. No matter where you are watching the match – in the stadium, at home, or at a party, that was specially gathered for this occasion, we hope to give to all fans of eSports LoL the opportunity to share these experiences with your friends. We are sincerely glad that more and more people around the world together watching LoL tournaments, and are proud of those who spared no time and effort to unite fans in different parts of the world. We sincerely thank you and we intend to do even more to support your initiatives.
Frankly – without your help, none of this would have been. Millions of players who are watching the World Cup final – is not just a number to us. For us it is the foundation on which everything else rests.
Seeing as in regional LoL leagues and all around the world is steadily growing number of fans, we feel it is our duty to care for the sustainable economic development of the sport.
The fan community, as well as your passion for sports – it’s real assets that allow us to create for the teams and their owners ecosystem in which they could make a profit and grow. To attract in cybersport new long-term investments that will allow eSports to grow in future, we need to find a new sources of income.
We need to make this cake even prettier to the teams and the players. At the moment, all the sources of income in e-sports can be divided into several main areas (but with its development will be new):
- Content / sponsorship
- Souvenirs / attributes
- Game content
Content / sponsorship – is an important component of economic development of eSports LoL. For over a year we are working to restructure and extend our approach to the dissemination of content and advertising sales / conclusion of sponsorship agreements. Unfortunately, we can not disclose the details, until we sign the agreement, but we believe that this is the most important factor for long-term success.
Sale of eSports attributes involves closer cooperation with the teams. Recent studies have shown that among the fans has a great interest in such products, so we would like to work more closely with the teams to help them to please their fans with cool stuff.
Finally, sales of game content has always been an important part of our economic plan, both for the teams and for the league. We started with the summoner icon, together with the teams we explore new ideas and ways to increase the share of their income. And again with the teams working on the revenue sharing scheme. For more information about the upcoming changes in the near future game content can be found below. Please be patient and read on!
Work with the fans and robust economy, of course, important for a successful sport – but stability, which implies partnerships with clubs and competent working structure, will help to create a favorable environment in which our eSport will be able to grow and develop in the long term.
We have not yet reached the phase where we could say with certainty how will look a long-term partnership; yet we do not know exactly how it will be worked and will it work the same in all regions. To enter into long-term partnership with the clubs in different parts of the world – is a complex process in many reasons (ecomonical, financial and etc). The first step in this chain – it is to enlist the support of reliable partners and to create the right structure. We expect to take this step in 2018.
LoL eSports in 2017
Investing in the future now, we are aware that in the current ecosystem team owners and the league can not always count on profitability. Recently they have increased spending, including the fact that the players have increased wages and the cost of them, and it happened in the first place because it has begun a significant inflow of foreign investments and increased interest in eSports.
For example, owners of clubs in LPL, interested in the growth of their teams , tend to win in the international tournaments, for which they are luring foreign stars with a high wages. The owners of teams in the LCK fight with the leak of talent and also increase wages.
This type of investment – it is a positive development, especially for professional players, but we understand that in the short term, they can greatly complicate the life of the teams and hit their budget. So we want to make sure that the teams did not have to cut back salaries of players and reduce their funding.
Investment growth – a natural process for developing structure. And this is a sign that we are from the beginning chosen the right path of development. At the same time, we understand that we can restore the shattered equilibrium: to help our partners to cope with temporary difficulties, we will accelerate the deployment of some of our long-term projects.
New sources of income
Since the World Cup 2016, Riot will introduce some of the changes associated with the game content, which will help to create additional sources of income for players and teams.
Images and totems from World Cup – now 25% of income from sales of “champion” skins and totems from World Cup will go to the World Cup prize fund. This means that after each purchase of Zed champion size of the prize pool of the World Cup 2016 will increase. For comparison, if this rule was applied in the past year, the prize fund of the championship would have grown more than twice.
Images of the candidates – Similarly, 25% of proceeds from sales of “Candidates” will go to the prize fund of the tournament MSI.
Images of the Teams-Champions – Since this years world champions, we will transfer 25% of the income from sales directly to players, after which they were created, as well as their teams and leagues (since there is no hero without the village where he was born). In the same way, we will share of the revenue from sales of old images of the players, teams and leagues (Fnatic, TPA, SKT, Samsung White and again SKT).
The new (and improved) digital products – Next year we will try the new revenue distribution capabilities, including items related to the game with the symbols of the various commands and actions. We are confident that the teams aiming to establish their own strong brand, have a lot of potential income – but because it is new, not passed the test of time products, we plan to cover at least part of the teams expenses: In 2017, each league will determine the guaranteed minimum payment, based on the specifics of a particular region. For example, EU LCS allocate each team with a minimum guaranteed amount of € 100.000 for the full season, 50% of which will go directly to the players as an additional income over and existing salary.
Even without taking into account the payment to former world champions, the above measures will send in favor of teams and players millions of dollars a year as an additional income.
Forward to the Future
We believe that LoL eSports have bright prospects in 2012, but now they became even brighter, if we estimate these significant steps from our part. In the face of new challenges and uncertainties, we will always stick to our beliefs: put first the interests of the fans, to create a strong ecosystem for
fans, teams and professional players, which will allow your favorite sport live happily ever after.
Thank you for what you are doing the sport itself worthy of the name. See you at the World Cup!
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