Riot Games is now aiming to take League of Legends to a new level through eSports within a recently announced five-year vision. If realized, it could potentially set players up to the level of pro players in terms of popularity and even earnings.
The plan was revealed by Brandon Beck, co-founder of Riot Games, when he articulated what the company has in store for its players now that League of Legends has become the biggest game ever today.
"We would love to see pro players that have a storied history of excellence in the game and rivalries with others of well-known sports," Beck told Forbes. "We'd love to see all of the elements that generate an emotional response that we're used to in pro sport."
The key, according to Beck, is the staging of higher quality events and their subsequent broadcasts. It would supposedly burnish League of Legends' reputation as a mainstream sporting event. This is expected to lead to bigger revenue, one that is finally able to support players who will dedicate their time and energy training and perfecting their gameplay.
Presently, there is a unit within Riot Games dedicated to eSports. It is now taking a larger role as the game publisher starts to fund League of Legends teams for 2017 competitions. This is also part of an initiative to achieve some sense of order in an environment that has so far been characterized by feuding coaches and team founders as well as inconsistent income for existing team owners and the league itself.
"To help get us there, we'll share LoL esports revenue streams and collaborate with our partners to develop new business models and actively shape the league," the League of Legends team said in a blog post. "We want these partners to have permanent stakes, to be invested in a stable future and to profit from the continued success of the sport."
Now, beginning Oct. 25 during the staging of Worlds 2016, 25 percent of the revenue will find its way to the Worlds prize pool and another 25 percent to the Mid-Season Invitational. This will continue on a yearly basis thereafter.
In addition, Riot Games also said it will be sharing in-game revenue, specifically those generated from items that are inspired by pro teams. For example, players, teams and leagues will be entitled to 25 percent of revenue from championship skins. Other revenue-sharing schemes were also outlined, which will surely provide further incentives to keep players, teams and leagues engaged.
To further stabilize the LoL eSports, Riot has also cited plans and initiatives concerning long-term partnership. This particular area has not been discussed in detail.