Let’s Go Over Last Week’s Controversy About That LCS Contract Regarding Streaming
Wow, this topic of discussion blew up way fast amongst summoners! So as you can read in the header above, theere was a bit of controversy with League of Legends pro players in the LCS. A part of their contract was leaked last week stating that they couldn’t stream certain games along with some other restrictions. This news was first seen on OnGamers site (they must have a crap load of traffic these days). Recently, that contract was revised so that LCS players could not take sponsorship for other games and that they could stream any game they like. There’s a few things I want to cover so let’s get into it. Oh and the reason why the Battlenet launcher in the image above is in french is because it was the only launcher image with Hearthstone that I could find quickly that would crop well.
The Contract Then And Now
Ok, so the contract initially had a list of games that LoL pro players couldn’t stream. Most notably was that every Blizzard game was black listed. That’s all the series/expansions of Warcraft (yes the orginal Warcraft), World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Diablo, Starcraft. Heroes of the Storm didn’t make the list, probably because it is still in development but mind you, I had no doubt that Heroes would have made the list in time. Of course other competitive MOBAs were on the list like DoTA2, SMITE and even Land of Chaos (even thought it’s not around anymore). This probably means this contract was drafted up a while ago. Also, the most threatening game to LoL was on the list too: Fat Princess. Note that the players could have still play those games just couldn’t ever stream gameplay while under contract. I’ll leave a link of the section that stated the rules and the list of games here.
At the end of last week, RiotMagus released this statement on Reddit about changes to the contract:
“After reading all of your comments and having a LOT of internal debate over the last 24 hours, we’re going to be changing the LCS team requirement to something that more closely matches our intent. While under contract to the LCS, teams and players can’t accept sponsorship from other game companies to promote other titles. Besides that, they are free to stream any games they want.”
— RiotMagus, 2013
What Do I Think About All Of This
Before the change, I wasn’t entirely sure what to think about this. It’s really a grey area that was really borderline on being too restrictive I guess. I mean think about it. A free-to-play game that’s getting sports-like numbers for events, a game that’s trying to make eSports famous and accepted through it’s popularity and events; and Riot Games, the company that made said game, handed out these type of restrictions to it’s pro players? It seemed really weird for Riot, out of all game companies, to pull something like this.
The main issue I had is the control that Riot had over a person’s stream with the initial clause. Unless I signed over my stream rights or something like that, I personally do not want a game company telling me what games I can and cannot stream when they don’t own my personal stream or even own the game I want to stream. Most of the pros must have thought it to be ridiculous but they’d probably would have signed the contract because the publicity and sponsors the LCS brings in makes up for it.
The redefined contract clause makes way more sense and is definitely more in line with what Riot wants. It makes sense that if a game company hires you, aka Riot, you can’t work for another game company, that includes taking a sponsorship. That’s just standard practice. In a person’s private time, they can play and stream whatever games they want; that’s also usually accepted in the game industry.
Hopefully this new contract makes a ton more sense to everyone and this fiasco can end here. I was really confused by the first contract clause but this newly defined one I am totally okay with.
Let me know what you guys think about the streaming clause before and after the changes in the comments below!