Jess Colwill, November 13, 2016

League of Legends Team Owners Write To Riot Games

A document claiming to be from the owners of the North American and European League of Legends Championship Series teams has been leaked online.

The letter, which was leaked by Slingshot eSports, is addressed to Brandon Beck, Marc Merrill, Whalen Roselle, Jarred Kennedy, and Jason Yeh. It covers the same compensation and profitability issues that have been ongoing in the professional League of Legends scene for several months now.

There has been no official confirmation at this point that the letter is genuine (or if it is genuine, how recent it is). However, the total radio silence from Riot Games could easily be read as confirmation.

In the letter, six main issues are raised:

  1. The lack of job security, fair compensation and longer careers for players caused by insufficient compensation and relegation.
  2. The damage to the Teams’ ability to invest in LCS players caused by insufficient compensation and relegation.
  3. The weakening relationship between fans and LCS caused by relegation.
  4. The harm to Team sponsorships caused by relegation and LCS’ restrictions on sponsors.
  5. The effective elimination of the path to pro caused by the Teams’ need to redirect resources from LCS to Challenger as a result of insufficient compensation and relegation.
  6. The financial hardship suffered by the Teams caused by insufficient compensation paid to the teams.

The issue of relegation comes up frequently in the letter. If the letter is genuine, it represents confirmation that Riot will not address the relegation issue until 2018 in North America, and 2019 in Europe.

As this letter represents part of the negotiations between the two parties, it’s natural that there would be some haggling over the numbers. Additionally, it certainly seems that at this point in time, the teams are holding out for more compensation. The letter asks for a minimum guarantee of $100,000 USD per team, to be split 50/50 with players, and to work together on digital item revenue and merchandise sales.

“Riot wants partners who will continue to lose money with the expectation of making money in the long-term, but offers no long-term commitment to any Team,” the letter continues. “The Teams have been advised that operating a business at a loss is our choice.”

You can read the full report at Slingshot

Jess Colwill

Jess is a writer and dog-lover from the eastern coast of Australia, who loves playing games (particularly anything by BioWare), listening to metal, baking, and fostering rescue dogs while they wait for new homes. You can find her on Twitter at @notsocryptic.