RIOT Games has set some tough rules for any league of Legends pros taking part in the League of Legends 2014 Championship Series. Players will forbidden to stream anything other than League of Legends as stipulated in new contracts which have been sent out by RIOT.
Streaming of MOBAs is massively popular but RIOT are going to make sure their players are not playing/promoting other titles. Titles on the ban list include Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of WarCraft, StarCraft, World of Tanks/World of Planes series, in fact the list just about covers every game that a pro streamer would be likely to stream
RIOT hit Reddit to confirm the news adding:
We say this all the time: we want League of Legends to be a legitimate sport. There are some cool things that come from that (salaried professional athletes, legitimate revenue streams, visas, Staples Center), but there’s also a lot of structural work that needs to be done to ensure a true professional setting.
We recognize there may be some differences of opinion in the perception of pro players’ streams. In the past, pro gamers only had to worry about their personal brands when streaming and, at most, may have had to worry about not using the wrong brand of keyboard to keep their sponsor happy. Now, however, these guys are professionals contracted to a professional sports league. When they’re streaming to 50,000 fans, they’re also representing the sport itself.
I can’t stress enough how these guys in the LCS are on the road to being real, legitimate athletes. This is new territory for a lot of teams (especially in esports), because the transition goes from being a group of talented individuals to being real icons of a sport and a league. Similarly, you probably wouldn’t see an NFL player promoting Arena Football or a Nike-sponsored player wearing Reebok on camera. Pro players are free to play whatever games they want – we’re simply asking them to keep in mind that, on-stream, they’re the face of competitive League of Legends.
League of Legends receives some pretty heavy promotion via live streams from players and likewise pro players can make a decent living from their creation. Surely this is a symbiotic relationship with both parties benefiting from the promotion?
These new stipulations probably won’t go down well with everyone but those are the rules, even if they seem a bit wonky. I do still cringe when I see the word “athletes” when referring to eSports.