Riot Games Not Interested in Offering Larger Prize Pool for 'League of Legends' Pro-Gaming Events

August 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Riot Games' head of EU eSports Jason Yeh tells Polygon that it is not interested in matching the massive prize pool for its League of Legends pro-gaming competitions that Valve offered with Dota 2's The International.

The company said that it will continue to offer a prize pool of around $2 million (which is nothing to sneeze at) for its annual tournament finals. Yeh said that it would rather additional funds be spent on the overall League infrastructure instead of being used to inflate prize pools. The end goal is to be able to offer large-scale pro-gaming events on a weekly basis eventually.

Another unnamed Riot Games rep. equates Valve's method for gathering the massive $10.7 million prize pool to begging. Valve opened sales of the official digital program for the International 2014 championships in May for $10, where $2.50 of every sale contributes to the prize pool. The majority of this year's Dota 2 The International prize pool was funded from the sales of the virtual compendium playbook.

Source: Polygon


Comments

Re: Riot Games Not Interested in Offering Larger Prize Pool ...

Professional leagues are not an easy thing to price. I used to do pro-BMX and if you were a consistent top five rider (per year) you could expect about $86,000/yr. But if you were not in the top 5 then your "take" would be considerably less... about $25,000 - $45,000/yr. 

I would imagine pro-gaming is similar in its "take," maybe even less at this point as its in its infancy? But for anyone to take the risk of being a pro there has to be the ability to make enough money to stay in the game. Is pro-gaming there yet? I honestly don't know.

Re: Riot Games Not Interested in Offering Larger Prize Pool ...

It's certainly on its way, and somewhat comparable.  Any player on a team that remains in the NA LCS all year long will make a minimum of $25,000 (rules guarantee $12,500 per 'split' per starting player) -- with more being available per split (and divvied out as the team sees fit), and additional prizes available for tournaments.  So just being one of the top 8 teams in the NA gets you that.  Being in the top 4 in a split earns you anywhere from $50k for your team (first place), to $25k (second place), and down to $10k for your team (fourth place).  This is discounting any other tournaments you take part in.

Let's look at Cloud9, the top NA team from last year.   C9, for their 2013 season, pulled in $2,300 from Minor tournaments, $6,800 from Major tournaments, and $150,000 from Premier tournaments, for a total of $159,100 of known prize funds.  Conservatively estimating 2/3 of the funds going to the starting players (with the rest going to support staff, sub players, equipment, etc--teams keep tight-lipped about salaries, obviously), that would still be 20k extra a player -- placing them, on their first year in the professional LCS, as earning at least $32.5k per player (for that year, they qualified during the Spring season, to actually play in only the Summer split.)

This year, they have already nailed $64k from Premier tournaments, and will get no less than $10k from this year's Summer Playoffs -- meaning that if they did lose both of their Playoffs matches (unlikely, but possible) and miss Worlds, the team would get $74k from tournaments -- and thus place them somewhere around $35k per player.  If they win the tournament, and perform in worlds like last year, they'd be looking at $189k, and each player would net at least $45k for the year.

It's a bit more volatile than BMX, definitely, both in amount of money raised, and the risk of being dropped from teams, with how frequent roster swaps are.  One moment, you can be part of a team making bank from tournaments, and the next, you can find yourself on the outside looking in.  I wouldn't be willing to take the risk myself, but you can, truly, make a living off of being good at League of Legends -- and that's the dream that all professional players have.

 
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