Riot, the studio behind League of Legends, has announced that it will increase the prize pool of its next world championship through the sale of in-game items.
“As we move into 2017 and beyond,” the company states, “we’re continuing to take steps towards a future where top LoL players have very well paid, long careers doing what they love.” In order to increase the total amount of money going into the scene, the company will add 25 percent of the revenue earned from every sale of this year’s Championship Ward and skin to the prize pool of Worlds 2016, the game’s championship tournament. Had that been the case last year, it would have “more than doubled” Worlds’ $2.1 million prize pool.
Riot is also introducing a few new ways for professional teams to earn more money. A quarter of the revenue year’s Team Championship skins will be shared with the player who inspired them, as well as that player’s team and the league they played in. This also applies to previous Team Championship skins. Finally, League of Legends will introduce team-branded in-game items for the first time, which will also earn the teams some revenue.
[Source: League of Legends]
This is an interesting turn of events for Riot, who previously likened crowdfunded prize pools to begging. Irony aside, I do want to see players and teams make more money off the games they play, and with Riot finally setting up revenues for players beyond tournaments and salaries, hopefully players can make careers out of League of Legends for years to come.