Riot Games, the League of Legends publisher announced on Friday that they have established a long-term partnership with BAMTech, a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media.
The deal, first reported by esports journalist Richard Lewis is reported to be worth a guaranteed minimum of $50 million (~£40.3m) per year and will run through to the 2023 season.
Jared Kennedy, co-head of esports told Yahoo that the content will remain free to view for the public, revealing:
“We first and foremost believe in making sure that the content is in places where the fans want to watch it, so that will continue to be the case… We believe in making content freely available, and it will continue to be freely available into the future. We have no plans to change that.”
The statement on their website states:
“Beginning next year, we’ll also be collaborating to push the boundaries of the esports viewing experience, leveraging BAMTech’s best-in-class technology to create additional possibilities and opportunities for fans to access, and connect with, League of Legends.”
The partnership will also help League of Legends attract non-endemic sponsors and the statement suggests that it will help “grow our revenue […] through various means, including sponsorship and advertising”.
Esports Insider says: It’s a staggering amount of money – but to be honest the League model is always a model that has somewhat perplexed us. This partnership is hopefully going to see money filtered down to the teams who seek guarantees and salary that they deserve. At the end of the day, Riot make sufficient money and it’s about time that the esports players and teams that make their game so successful are remunerated in an appropriate manner.