Despite what your parents always told you, competitive gaming has become a pretty big business. A wide variety of games can now boast championships with millions of viewers and significant cash prizes. That being said, it’s no wonder that the BAMTech, the streaming company co-owned by Major League Baseball and Disney announced a 300 million dollar deal between themselves and Riot Games for the exclusive right to stream and monetize League of Legends competitions.
It’s important to note that this deal just starts at the 300 million. Any additional monies generated by this arrangement will be shared between the companies until 2023, when this deal ends. It is assumed that any additional profits will be gained through advertisements and sponsorship deals (over seen by BAMTech), as Riot Games has been steadfast in their promise not to charge a subscription fee to watch their content. In the past, Riot has even influenced partners to stop charging fees for access to HD streams. It’s nice to see a company that cares about its fan base on the winning side of such a lucrative deal with such massive companies.
Some fans may be scared that their favourite eSport won’t be available to stream on their favourite platform thanks to the exclusivity of this whole thing. Well fear not, President and Co-Founder of Riot Games confirmed via Reddit that this did not guarantee any sort of platform exclusivity and that the worldwide availability of League of Legends, both as a game and eSport, was an important component of the game’s popularity.
There is no doubting the popularity of games like League of Legends, and this deal with BAMTech is solid proof. I can only imagine that this trend will continue in the professional gaming scene as more games become embraced by the eSports community. It’s come a long way and it isn’t stopping anytime soon.