League of Legends Esports is Getting In-Game Advertising | Kotaku UK
By Alistair Jones on at
League of Legends’ esports scenes is one of the biggest in the world, and it looks like Riot is hoping to capitalise on that a little more.In a blog post yesterday, the developer confirmed in-game adverts will appear in official matches, starting with next month’s Summer Split.
When the regional leagues return in June, Riot says that fans “will start to see more esports branding directly on the Rift.” The developer’s first expansion of this kind will utilise the in-game banners that pop up in certain areas of the map at the start of each game, showing off (in this case) the Mastercard logo.
It might seem an invasive change, but Riot says that its goal is “to create an environment that exudes the energy found in traditional sports,” many of which have used on-field advertising for as long as I can remember.The banners are also pretty easy to ignore from a player’s perspective, and I imagine that will carry over.And if you’re concerned about any damage to the game’s competitive integrity, then never fear – the adverts will only be visible to viewers, leaving the professional’s view entirely unimpeded.
Advertising has formed a part of LoL’s esports broadcasts for a while now, but all of it has taken place during breaks between games, rather than during them.Still, it’s clear that this is part of an increased push from Riot to make its esports scene more profitable.In the game’s early days, the developer said it was prepared to suck up the cost, but now there are an increasing number of ways in which Riot has been able to squeeze some extra pennies out of its streams.