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Riot Games reverses course on LCS player streaming policy - players are now "free to stream any games they want"

Riot Director of Esports announces retraction of previous LCS Pro Player streaming policy.

Earlier this week, onGamers obtained information revealing that under the 2014 season contracts, professional players in the LCS would be restricted from streaming up to 27 different video game titles.

In a statement posted to the League of Legends subreddit, Whalen Rozelle, Director of Esports at Riot Games, announced an update to their streaming policy. Under the new rules, LCS teams and players cannot accept sponsorship from other developers and publishers to promote their games, but are free to stream any game that they wish. The full statement is available below:

Hey everyone,

There’s been a ton of discussion around our LCS team contracts, which stipulated active LCS players couldn’t stream a variety of other games.

First, background on why we did this: there’ve been instances of other game studios trying to buy access to League fans by using (or trying to use) LCS teams/players to promote their competing games on stream.

The way we chose to deal with this was clearly an overreach. It hit our goal of preventing companies from advertising through LCS players, but it also encroached on pros’ ability to have fun and entertain viewers during long Challenger queues – and we realize that’s not cool.

After reading all of your comments and having a LOT of internal debate over the last 24 hours, we’re going to be changing the LCS team requirement to something that more closely matches our intent. While under contract to the LCS, teams and players can’t accept sponsorship from other game companies to promote other titles. Besides that, they are free to stream any games they want.

I'll be hanging around to answer questions if you guys have any. Thanks for helping us make a better decision on this.

Posted by Dysisa

Wow what a surprise, they immediately backpedal when people actually notice the scumbag policies they put up. Just you watch as they try to do it again eventually, it's all about maintaining a public image. Also this whole thing about teams not being allowed to promote other games while contracted by the LCS, does that just apply to 'the team' as in the individuals from the organization that are part of League of Legends? Or are we talking about, say, all of Dignitas not being allowed to get a new Dota 2 squad for an instance? Very vague phrasing.

Edited by Schandro

"other game studios trying to buy access to League fans"

Riot certainly does a good job inventing a reason that allows fanboys of Riot to stay fanboys.

Posted by 92_slayer

sounds like when they denied they ever pressured tournaments too not pick up other moba titles besides league. Riot as a company is cancer, but you cant denie that they did a good game.

Edited by Davideogame

@Dysisa Well it makes sense that they'd back off of a decision if they got a huge backlash; having a good reputation is important for business. They may have reconsidered later too, though I'm sure the publicity of the contract factored into how quickly they changed it.

RiotMagus made an interesting comment in the reddit thread:

"I think you hit upon something very unique to our sport. Most players of other sports don't get the chance to practice so visibly on stream for hours on end. What's interesting is that the concept of a pro player's stream has evolved along with esports itself - before, a stream was just a way for playersto have fun and share their passion for the game with others, but now it's almost something more official. Players represent the league, their teams and their own brand while streaming now. We use streaming to broadcast our official channel - so we're still trying to figure out this kind of media."

Which brings up the question: Are the streams of the LCS players 100% personal, or are they part of their official role as LCS players? Since Riot's stance is along the latter, their decision makes a degree of sense, even if it was totally ham-handed. I don't agree with that stance personally, but as RiotMagus says, streaming is a really new phenomenon and maybe its role in eSports is changing.

Posted by TravisGafford

@schandro This actually isn't as ridiculous as you think. Infinite Crisis has made use of several professional League of Legends teams, and TSM had a deal to stream Smite for a while. This stuff happens.

I think that their ultimate solution keeps them safe while still stayin' cool.

Edited by Heyzolnut


Of course it's about maintaining a public image. Isn't that what a company is supposed to do? It's typical of people to complain even after they've made their change. I think a lot of people overlook the fact that they aren't banned from playing every single game in the universe. And a lot of streamers have more than one monitor. What's the big deal?

Posted by lilopuppy

For big strong-arming game company, they sure listen. I wonder how big they gotta be before they don't? EA, Activision, Ubisoft?

Posted by Okoo

Riot, burn in hell already.

Posted by Illyes_Attila

"Staying cool".... yeah, about that...

Posted by cyberc0re

gj riot because that was fcking bulshit xD, if u ban then from playing other MOBA's like DotA2 or smite i can understand but SC2, WoW, WoT, Diablo, Heartstone i mean some off these games aren't even compedatif and aer soo diffrent from LoL xD but gj for flushing the shit :P