Update, 2:45PM PST: Director of Esports at Riot Games Whalen 'RiotMagus' Rozelle confirmed in a Reddit thread that the streaming and advertisement restrictions we reported on are, in fact, in place. His comment can be found below:
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.Whalen Rozelle
Update, 11:20AM PST: onGamers has confirmed with the team representatives that LCS players are disallowed from streaming the games listed below outright, not just when adjacent to a League of Legends stream. Under Section 3 Rule 4 of the new contract handling 'Non-League Events and Streaming', it states that "... the [LCS] Team shall ensure that, during the Term of this Agreement, its Team Members do not publicly stream gameplay of the titles set forth on Exhibit B". Exhibit B states "the specific restrictions on streaming are set forth in the Sponsorship and Streaming Restricted List, as updated by the League from time to time", which is the document listed below.
Original Story: With less than three weeks until Riot's Battle of the Atlantic tournament, teams and players are being finalized for Season 4 of Riot's League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). With the new season on the horizon, contracts have been sent out to owners of current LCS teams.
onGamers has obtained a section of the 2014 League of Legends Championship Series contracts sent to team owners. In the section we were provided, new regulations are stipulated for what games players can and and cannot stream. The "Sponsorship and Streaming Restricted List" states that 'the following companies and/or products are not to be advertised during or adjacent to League of Legends," during the term of the agreement (duration of the contract). onGamers has confirmed with several team representatives that the document provided is real.
The most notable games among the restricted list are Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of WarCraft, StarCraft, and the World of Tanks/World of Planes franchises. Gambling and poker websites, including those that do esports betting, are also off limits. Drugs, guns, pornography and tobacco products round out the list of restrictions. The full list can be found from the screenshot of the contract below:
Riot Games declined an onGamers request for comment on the restrictions. Hi-Rez Studios also declined.