League of Legends developers Riot Games announced their intentions to allow crowdfunding from their cosmetic skin sales to bolster the prize pool of this year’s League of Legends World Championships. As part of the League of Legends revenue sharing plan, a healthy 25% of sales from wards and champion skins will go to the overall purse. This should further incentivize teams to perform well.
Riot is merely following in the footsteps of DotA 2, their main competitor in the MOBA space. For the past few years, DotA 2 has grabbed headlines for its lucrative prize pools. These pools are funded by fans buying digital compendiums and cosmetics. Since LoL is the world’s most popular esport, it will be interesting to see how much their prize pool can grow. Can it surpass The International leading up to Worlds later this month?
In addition to the newly announced format, Riot will retroactively reward organizations that have previously won world championships. They will offer them 25% of sales made from their “Team Championship” skins. Teams Fnatic, Taipei Assassins, SK Telecom T1, and Samsung White will be the primary benefactors of this particular initiative. However, lower tier teams can still expect a cut. They will get at least $100k from revenue sharing regardless of their results.
Riot had this to say in regards to the changes to increase revenue for organizations and players:
“As we invest and build towards the future, we recognize that the current ecosystem isn’t consistently profitable yet for team owners or for the league. Costs have risen — namely in the form of player salary increases and support for those pros — mainly as a direct result of significant external investment and interest in the scene.”
They further went on to comment about revenue sharing with their partners:
“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. 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.”
Riot’s actions are exciting, to say the least. It will be interesting to see if these changes will work as intended. They could have a big impact on the community and the LoL esports competitive landscape.
The League of Legends World Championships group stages start in San Francisco on Sept. 29. Stay tuned to Fandom for full coverage of the LoL Worlds.