LoL Contracts Get Heavy With Players, Ban Rival Streaming

LoL Contracts Get Heavy With Players, Ban Rival Streaming

First reported in a story on OnGamers, if you're signed up to take place in League of Legends' League Championship Series, your contract bans you from streaming any game that can even remotely be seen as competition for Riot's online juggernaut.

That doesn't just apply to streaming other games alongside their LoL broadcasts. It bars them from streaming other games for the entire duration of their LCS contract, regardless of the time or duration.

It's a funny list; while there are obvious inclusions like LoL rival DOTA 2, there are less obvious inclusions like Demogod and Fat Princess, games I had no idea people even played anymore, let alone streamed for others' enjoyment.

Perhaps more controversially, the contract doesn't just stop at games competing with LoL. It covers entire companies. So LCS gamers aren't just barred from streaming StarCraft II games, they can't cover any WarCraft or Diablo content either.

A Riot rep later confirmed the move on Reddit, and his comments... make a lot of sense, at least as far as where Riot are coming from with their moves to legitimise LoL competition.

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 recognise 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.

Riot Season 4 LCS contracts stipulate players cannot stream Dota 2, Blizzard games [onGamers]


Comments

    Hope this deals a damaging blow to LoL. I think this looks bad as LoL players usually play SC2 as well. Stuff like this gives E-sports a bad name.

    What is left out in the article is that the contract is an employment contract. Not a competition contract. People that sign this are being paid by Riot to play their game, whether they win or lose. If you compete, but are not hired by them, you can still DOTA2 to your hearts content.

      Exactly. It is no different from a AFL player being barred from playing NRL while on the contract.

        Not quite. It's more like being signed up to play AFL but not being able to play any other sport anywhere people might see you. No showing friends your golf skills. No backyard cricket with the family, ect.

        They also claim to be using the style of contracts that sports use, yet in the US there are athletes who professionally play multiple sports.

          This one I sort of agree with. I think it's the broadness of the statement which worries me. However, at the end of the day, we have a hard enough time convincing 'average Joe' that SC2 is different to LoL. It's "E-Sport". When 'average Joe' accepts that 2 different games are different sports, we maybe onto a winner. Right now we're having a hard enough time getting e-sport by itself recognized.

            Only problem with that is this doesn't do anything to stop people thinking that DC2 is different to LoL. If anything, it'll suggest to them that these 26 games (Including series at just one game) are exactly like LoL, hence the need to block them.

              You are being too specific in your accusations. Riot's contract, while seeming over-the-top to the general person, is reasonable. E-Sports may be recognized as an actual sport in the U.S. But what exactly does that term entail? Does it mean any video game can be played at a professional level and be legitimately professional? Or does it mean only specific games? For example: SC2 and LoL are the only ones accepted as an actual sport. OR does it only apply to a single game - League of Legends? My guess is that E-Sports really only refers to certain games currently. Because it is limited in what games are included, you have to remember the fact that the game is no longer one sided. It is no longer just a game, but it is also not a true sport. With that in mind, while LoL is considered an actual sport, Riot is still a company that has business affairs. Other game companies are always competing for more sales for their video game over the competition - Riot and it's competitors are no different. That is why Riot has made this claim, and that is also why E-Sports will have different terms from other sports leagues. Compare the individual video games and their companies to the current sports of today. The entire game of soccer is not owned or developed by a company, is it? Neither is Football, Basketball, Baseball, so on and so forth. The sports individually are not competing against each other in their own market - unlike different video games that are part of E-Sports. Let's make another comparison. Each of those sports is not just the sport itself, you say. There are individual and separate leagues that make up each. Take the NBA (national basketball association) and the ABA (American Basketball Association) for example. You would never see advertisement at a professional and official NBA game for the ABA or any of its events. The same must be considered true for E-Sports. The games are not just sports that are played. We all must remember that they are also games competing in a market. That is exactly why Riot has made these terms to their Season 4 contract. They realized the difference between other sports and E-Sports - the current sports aren't competing in a market for the sport overall, whereas E-Sports entails certain games played that are inevitably owned by businesses that are competing in their own market, In order for the same terms regular sports have for their contracts to be adopted by E-Sports contracts, their would need to be no ownership of the individual games played. This would also mean that E-Sports accepts all video games, not just LoL, SC2, WoW, CoD.... it would have to be non-selective because those games are made by individual companies that own the game and are still competing for sales.

      While this is pretty much it, using thatteemo's example, an AFL player isn't exactly stopped from playing NRL provided it's not on a competitive level. They're free to play it with friends, team mates (list can go on) however as long as it's not on a competitive level and in a proper team for the sport then it's more than fine for them to play NRL.

      Same should be applied here.

    Unenforceable under Australian contract law, and as an employment contract.. well that brings in even more stricter liabilities and responsibilities for LoL.

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