Jess Colwill, August 24, 2016

Marc 'Trynadamere' Merrill: "Just pay your LOL players more money"

Riot Games co-founder Marc “Tryndamere” Merrill has kicked off a social media storm by suggesting that team owners who are unhappy with “the financial health” of their players pay them more money money that team owners claim simply isn’t there.

Responding to criticism from Team SoloMid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh, Tryndamere took to Reddit to call Reginald a millionaire and suggested that he was at fault for not wanting to “shell out for top talent.”

While Tryndamere did acknowledge that the timing for last year’s juggernaut update was “suboptimal” and “terrible,”  he squarely placed the blame for player salaries on the shoulders of team management, a position that put him squarely in the sights of many upset managers.

OGN commentator Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles weighed in on YouTube, suggesting that “nobody is making millions from the LCS right now.”

“It is very expensive to run a team and there aren’t enough forms of revenue in League of Legends to make it worthwhile.”

Reginald’s lengthy response, which is available on Twitlonger, accused the Riot big-wig of holding an “out-of-date perspective which doesn’t take into account the current state of the esports ecosystem.”

“It feels like there’s a belief at Riot that team owners make a lot of money off LCS and invest it into other eSports, but that is far from the truth,” writes Reginald. “It used to be true that we made money from LoL eSports, but that was before LCS and the economic situation is getting progressively worse.”

“Most LCS teams lose money because stipends are stagnant, sponsorships for LCS team operations are shrinking and the cost of player salaries, content production, support staff and housing costs are spiraling up.”

At the time of writing Tryndamere had not issued a further statement, but most League of Legends circles continue to talk about the possible fallout, with many personalities and commentators coming down on the side of Reginald, suggesting that Riot has a lot of work to do.

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.