For some time now, Riot Games has been investing a lot of money into the League of Legends’ esports scene. But recently, players have noted a few changes in the company’s spending habits when it comes to events. One fan questioned some of those changes on Reddit yesterday, noting that it feels like League esports are “walking backwards as time goes on”, and asking if it might have something to do with Tencent.
With the post getting over a thousand comments, it didn’t take long for the lead of the global esports events team to weigh in. According to Derrick Asiedu (“FearGorm” on Reddit) these changes have nothing to do with Tencent but are related to the fact that the esports endeavor has been in what he refers to as ‘”startup” mode’ until now. Now that the company has more or less achieved some of its goals, it is switching modes and looking for ways to make the whole thing “financially sustainable”. Basically, what this translates to is that they’ve been spending more money on growing the League esports scene than they’ve brought in revenue from it.
For this reason, they have cut back on some things, but are also looking at ways to increase revenue so they can more or less keep up the grand experience most fans have come to expect. According to Asiedu, if revenue hits that sweet spot within the next three or so years, they should be could and may even be able to increase their budget. If not, they’ll have to decrease it.
As always happens with these things, Asiedu’s reply has spawned even more questions… which I don’t see answered yet. If you’d like to follow the thread on the off chance he returns with more answer later, you can do so here.