• Riot Games shoring up deal for streaming agreement
  • LCS team owners formally issue grievances to Riot Games
  • Twitch steps up to take roll as sponsorship rep

RIOT GAMES AND MLB MEDIA GROUP POSSIBLY CLOSE TO A DEAL

TL;DR: Riot Games is reportedly in talks with MLBAM (MLB Advanced Media) around handling streaming League of Legends (LoL) content in a deal that could be worth $90M annually. There’s a lot of speculation in the reporting at this point and nothing has been confirmed by either group. No word on exclusivity but a source has revealed that current streaming partners (i.e. Twitch, YouTube) will have access through 2017.

Full story: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Daily/Issues/20...

The StreamKick take: It’s really early to speculate what this could mean for LoL content on Twitch and YouTube but a couple of things are certain. First, Twitch sees huge spikes in traffic during League events and that’s good for Twitch (for lots of reasons). Twitch is also the place where the majority of online gaming fans consume their live-streaming content and League is the most popular game on the platform. Losing the competitive content for the top title is something Twitch will be taking very seriously.

Second, by partnering with a company like MLBAM, Riot may be making an attempt to put its competitive content behind a paywall. If you’ve been around Twitch long enough you may remember early LCS streams were set to a lower quality by default but viewers could subscribe to enable HD modes. It’s not like this any longer and surely for good reason. So it will be interesting to see how this develops.

This also comes at an interesting time for Riot given the pressure it’s under from LCS team owners to expand their earnings potential. A shift to gated content could provide a new revenue stream from which Riot can siphon some funds back to the lifeblood of the LCS - the teams.

LCS TEAM OWNERS FORMALIZE CONCERNS TO RIOT GAMES OVER COMPETITIVE LEAGUE STRUCTURE

TL;DR: LCS owners from nearly every team in the NA and EU regions sent a letter to Riot’s executive leadership team, outlining their issues with the current state of the LCS and how disadvantageous it currently is for team owners. Their primary grievances focus around relegation, revenue opportunities, and the overall one-sided nature of the competitive league structure.

Full story: https://slingshotesports.com/2016/11/12/riot-games...

The StreamKick take: If what the team owners are claiming is true, then on one hand it’s difficult to envision many, if any, of them continuing to participate in the LCS. On the other hand, there will almost certainly be new teams lining up to take their place and have a go with Riot’s terms. Riot has to weigh the cost of these teams pulling out, or even the likelihood that they will, with the benefits of keeping them around under new terms that are arguably more moderate but demonstrably less favorable to Riot.

As it stands, these organizations earn revenue outside of the LCS and should continue to do so, regardless the outcome this letter brings about. Revenue diversification is something they should continue to focus on. TSM has had some of the most popular LoL streamers on Twitch for years (The OddOne, Dyrus, Bjergsen) and is undoubtedly earning a cut of the revenue those streamers generate wearing the team’s moniker on Twitch. And we can’t possibly forget their early foray into reality TV with the GameCrib series in 2013. That was good stuff.

TWITCH BECOMES CLOUD9’S AND TSM’S OFFICIAL SPONSORSHIP SALES REP

TL;DR: TSM and Cloud9 become the first ever esports organizations to partner officially with Twitch. The deal means Twitch will function as their sales representative and deal with any interested brands looking to reach the teams’ audiences.

Full story: https://dotesports.com/twitch-is-now-tsm-and-cloud...

The StreamKick take: Twitch has a massive sales team (around 100 globally) relative to what any esports organization would be able to muster or should muster. Despite sacrificing some control this could be an extremely lucrative move for Cloud9 and TSM. Combine that with the data Twitch is able to capture from its viewers and it makes for a very interesting development that others are likely to want a piece of in the coming months.

This also comes at an interesting time given the outreach from the LCS teams within these organizations (and others) to Riot to rework the terms of the competitive league structure. It’s undoubtedly a product of that simmering frustration but also a signal that at least these two teams are not planning to sit by and let their fate be decided by a single game studio.

TWITCH ROLLS OUT CLIP TRIMMING

TL;DR: Twitch clips can now be edited to be longer (by a lot) or shorter (by a little).

Full story: https://blog.twitch.tv/clip-trimming-ddb4f12b7b6a#...

UPDATES LAUNCHED FOR THE TWITCH UPLOADS OPEN BETA

TL;DR: A string of enhancements for the Uploads feature have been rolled out including: uploading of multiple file types, longer tags to improve searching and discovering, custom thumbnails fix, and more.

Full story: https://blog.twitch.tv/uploads-update-3bfaf8d94915...

IEM OAKLAND WAS THIS WEEKEND

TL;DR: Intel’s IEM series stopped in Oakland this weekend (11/19 - 20) featuring tournaments for CS:GO and LoL. At stake was $100k for the LoL tourney and $300k for CS:GO.

Full story: http://en.intelextrememasters.com/season11/oakland...

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Each week we’ll try to bring you something esports-related you may have otherwise missed. Like Gozer the Gozarian it may take any form, so be sure to have a look at the bottom of future editions of the roundup to see what our agents have uncovered.

This week we’d like to share a podcast creatively assembled by Getting Gamers author Jamie Madigan. It’s called The Psychology of Video Games and it’s truly fascinating content.

Dr. Madigan explores the causes of things near and dear to gamers’ hearts such as: rage quitting, toxic behavior, why people even play video games, addiction, microtransaction, and tons more. We’re not through the entire catalogue (22 episodes) yet, but we’re hooked.

You can learn more about the creator, his book, and the podcast here. Enjoy responsibly.