Welcome to Esports Nutshell News, I’m Mark Register.
- Ninja’s in Pyjamas gets $600k in funding with a $12.5M valuation. Last year the team made $2.1M with a profit of $83k.
- Esports Observer reports ESL Founder and G2 co-owner’s Jens Hilgers’s has a financial loan connection to Fnatic continuing their ongoing reports of financial conflict of interests in the space.
- Former Showtime and HBO Sports President Ken Hershman joins World Esports Association as Chairman, Commissioner, and CEO relieving interim Commissioner Pietro Fringuelli of duty.
- Sliver TV launches their Beta platform allowing your to watch games like League of Legends, Dota, and Counterstrike in virtual reality thanks to their $6.7M in seed funding. Their patented technology uses virtual camera arrays that record PC gameplay and convert 2D only gameplay into VR when needed. Their tech also crawls, indexes, and records up to 12 matches at a time building a pool of top matches, players, and tournaments. Their “Hot Spot” proprietary algorithm identifies exciting moments from that pool and automatically creates highlights. Their “Special Effects” algorithm slows, zooms, and places virtual cameras in the game for optimal viewing, all of this is done and published within 12 hours of a match.
Riot’s Marc Merrill and LCS team owner Andy Dinh & former owner Christopher Mykles turn up the heat in the Riot vs Team Owners fight over Revenue Streams, Player Compensation, Patch Change Timing.
Here’s the rundown of what’s being argued:
Riot is too restrictive in allowing teams to sell sponsorships not allowing players to wear sponsorship logos like a Nascar Driver.
Riot is not providing enough money for team stipends and prize pool events. Currently the team stipend is around $200k a year. Playoff prize pools are at $100k & the World Championship prize pool is around $2M. Both prize pools have not changed since 2013 & 2012 respectively.
Because of Venture Capital investments the market rate for recruiting a LCS player is rising, which is great for players but more difficult for Esports organizations which now require more revenue to survive.
Riot is not giving a percentage of in game sales or broadcast rights revenue to teams which is what traditional sport leagues do.
Riot says Esports Organizations’ financial problems wouldn’t be as bad if they didn’t take the money they made from LCS and put it into building teams for other games. Team owners say other game developers & league organizers are not as strict as Riot, making it easier to make money through sponsorships and other ways.
Team owners say relegation is crippling for any LCS team and needs to change to a franchise system.
Team owners say mid season patch changes are difficult for the players increasing their already full workday. Riot says patch changes are about making the game better for the audience not the teams. This problem is an easy one guys, just work the patches around competitive play schedules.
Most everyone involved in this public fight is very intelligent and are doing a great job of coming up with great points on both sides to solve a very complex set of problems that need to be solved. But every point is laced with malice, corroding at the foundation we’re all standing on. To be fair, people like Cloud 9’s Jack Etienne brought up some problems and a possible solution without malice. Thank you. But for the rest of you… on BOTH sides, chill out. Take a breather and start working on constructive solutions not saying you want to work with the other side while tearing the other side apart within the same breath or paragraph. If you don’t stop with the digs, I’m gonna tell mom and dad and guess who’s not going to camp firewood next summer. Yeah that’s what I thought.