Well, that didn’t take long. All of two days ago, news broke that Riot Games had essentially banned contracted players from streaming specific titles, including all of the current Blizzard games and competing MOBAs. There’s been a sudden reversal on this stance, along with a message from Whalen Rozelle, Director of Esports at Riot Games on 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.
While Riot Games was well within their rights to forbid their ’employees’ from streaming certain titles, the mandate was met with decidedly negative responses, as the motivation behind the decision was not made clear until later in the day. The most recent stance makes a lot more sense, simply forbidding paid players from accepting sponsorships from other gaming companies. Considering the number of high tier League of Legends players that streamed Hearthstone early on in the closed beta, it seems likely that we can also expect to see them stream Reaper of Souls, along with Warlords of Draenor and Heroes of the Storm once the latter two titles go into closed beta.
Does this reversal from Riot Games shock you personally, or did it seem like the decision was obvious, given the poor reaction from the community?