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Krisnatharok
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[Game] Riot tells pro LoL players they can't stream competing games

said by Ars Technica :

Riot tells pro League of Legends players they can’t stream competing games

Riot pro players are barred from publicizing other games—even on their own time.

League of Legends developer Riot has unleashed something of a bombshell on the pro-gaming community of streamers. The company operates a competitive e-sports league, the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), that's about to start its fourth season. Teams participating in the competition have to agree to a contract, and according to portions of the contract leaked to onGamers, those contracts will ban LCS participants from streaming a range of games that compete with League of Legends.

Strikingly, the contract prohibits not merely streaming these games during or adjacent to LCS events: they're banned entirely. If any competitor in LCS streams one of these games, they (or their team) are in breach of contract.

These prohibited games include direct competitors in the multiplayer online battle arena space such as Dota 2 and Heroes of Newerth, other competitive titles such as the StarCraft franchise, and, peculiarly, the PlayStation 3 title Fat Princess. Additionally, the rules prohibit streaming of gambling sites, as well as promoting pornography, firearms, and non-over-the-counter drugs.

This sounds unprecedented. Pro gamers are not Riot employees, but Riot wants to control them as if they were.
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f0rtys3ven
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NFL players are employees of the team and the NFL is the controlling body of the teams. So in reality Riot is the governing body of the sport and the teams have to abide by the rules.

I think this is interesting. I am not sure the rules are as strict as this makes it sound. I saw something on reddit last night that the actual contract was more lax. Just a separation of games. I also believe you can stream other games under other aliases as long as it is separate from your professional obligation.

I see no issues with this even if its strict. The only issue I have is that this is now a 24/7 job for these guys and I wonder if the monetary compensation is equal to their efforts.
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shinjuru
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reply to Krisnatharok
Click for full size
Another good read over at »www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/12···ictions/

These corporate types are always the same. Going pro doesn't mean going insane, especially since the modern computer gamer was spawned directly from streaming/recording videos of their competitions. Without that culture development, there wouldn't have been these types of computer gaming competitors.
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f0rtys3ven
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These guys are making entry level salaries doing nothing but playing their favorite video game. Thats literally a dream come true. Now asking them to use their league personas to only play league publicly and not other games taints the dream how?

Riot is putting everything in place to solidify their brand for 10 seasons instead of the long 4 or 5 year runs that great pro e sports have had in the past. Combine this with their pay for cosmetic approach to the public side of the game and the constant small gameplay changes and now we have a solid e sport brand with professionals and tons of fans. LoL now rivals or beats out chess as an intellectual sport played on an international level and I don't see any issues with this. I for one am happy to see a game be so determined to succeed everywhere and stay a staple for competition.

My only issue is that the American brand of pro esports will never rival that of the west because our ideas of child labor are much different and the players in those regions seem to either have better professional focus (Gambit/Moscow 5) or have harder training regiments and better supervision (China / Korea).
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Jobbie
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reply to Krisnatharok
I believe the contract said tha they can't stream other games on top of LoL content not making LoL exclusive.
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Krisnatharok
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The article says they can't even stream a SC2 match during their time off. The contract essentially forces them to only stream League matches.

If I was a pro gamer, for an entry level salary, I'd say screw that and take my following to another game. Riot can't control these personalities, especially if a sizable number of pro gamers decide it's not worth it to be locked into one game.

Good gamers are worth watching over several games to better understand their strategy and thought process.
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Energystream
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If the restriction is as broad as you state than that may be a terrible move from Riot. It's not too bad if they mean a specific channel must be LoL only, the Pro Gamer could create an LoL specific channel and have their general channel for other games.

Anyone know what the length of the contract is?


Krisnatharok
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said by Energystream:

It's not too bad if they mean a specific channel must be LoL only, the Pro Gamer could create an LoL specific channel and have their general channel for other games.

As the article states it, the gamer (the personality) is forbidden from broadcasting themselves playing other games, and they would probably restrict them from even using their username as well.
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Jobbie
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If you read shinjuru's extract of the contract it says ,"the following companies or products are not to be advertised during or adjacent League of Legends content during the term".
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cat666

join:2013-04-26
reply to Krisnatharok
I don't have an issue with it. If they are getting paid then they are bound to that contract and it's understandable Riot want to protect the investment.

You don't sign up to wrestle for the WWE then go do a match for TNA for free and you don't sign up for the Chigago Bulls, and still expect to be allowed to don the Miami Heat's colours whilst out and about.


f0rtys3ven
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reply to Krisnatharok
The article is most likely based on an article that was already found to be slanted heavily against Riot. That one was written half by Slasher. The actual contract I believe states that they have to simply separate league from the other games as to not taint the brand.

Again I don't think they are barred from streaming other games but they are barred from doing so during LCS matches and while discussing or playing league. Good gamers are a dime a dozen the thought process is not the reason these guys are pro. For the most part they have great situational awarness and great twitch mechanics which are much less about understanding.

Also, KrisN no other game can pay what league can at this time. No other game is close and no other game is even attempting to get close at this time. The CoD franchise is trying to decide what game and platform is supposed to be the competative one. Halo is a shadow of itself. Counterstrike needs updating badly. The only other game is Star Craft 2 and its complexity alone makes for a smaller fan base.
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Jobbie
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reply to cat666
Nothing prevents them to play other games just just to be careful to do it without League of Legends stuff around it.
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Krisnatharok
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reply to Jobbie
said by Jobbie:

If you read shinjuru's extract of the contract it says ,"the following companies or products are not to be advertised during or adjacent League of Legends content during the term".

From the article linked in the Ars story:

Update, 11:20AM PST: onGamers has confirmed with the team representatives that LCS players are disallowed from streaming the games listed below outright, not just when adjacent to a League of Legends stream. Under Section 3 Rule 4 of the new contract handling 'Non-League Events and Streaming', it states that "... the [LCS] Team shall ensure that, during the Term of this Agreement, its Team Members do not publicly stream gameplay of the titles set forth on Exhibit B". Exhibit B states "the specific restrictions on streaming are set forth in the Sponsorship and Streaming Restricted List, as updated by the League from time to time", which is the document listed below.

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Jobbie
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Then Riot is the one breaching their own contract which is stupid.
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Krisnatharok
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What Shinjuru posted is not the entire contract, but what is likely referred to as "Exhibit B."


Jobbie
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Exactly and what you posted links to the "Sponsorship and Streaming Restricted list" which is the same thing.
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Krisnatharok
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The article also has clarifying updates from onGamers and Whalen Rozelle (aka RiotMagus) on Reddit.


f0rtys3ven
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reply to Krisnatharok
You literally linked the Slasher article that I said was slanted lol.


Krisnatharok
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said by f0rtys3ven:

You literally linked the Slasher article that I said was slanted lol.

So are you saying it's factually incorrect?

Edit, how is this slanted, either in the original story or with the updates:
said by Original :

Original Story: With less than three weeks until Riot's Battle of the Atlantic tournament, teams and players are being finalized for Season 4 of Riot's League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). With the new season on the horizon, contracts have been sent out to owners of current LCS teams.

onGamers has obtained a section of the 2014 League of Legends Championship Series contracts sent to team owners. In the section we were provided, new regulations are stipulated for what games players can and and cannot stream. The "Sponsorship and Streaming Restricted List" states that 'the following companies and/or products are not to be advertised during or adjacent to League of Legends," during the term of the agreement (duration of the contract). onGamers has confirmed with several team representatives that the document provided is real.

The most notable games among the restricted list are Dota 2, Hearthstone, World of WarCraft, StarCraft, and the World of Tanks/World of Planes franchises. Gambling and poker websites, including those that do esports betting, are also off limits. Drugs, guns, pornography and tobacco products round out the list of restrictions. The full list can be found from the screenshot of the contract below:

Riot Games declined an onGamers request for comment on the restrictions. Hi-Rez Studios also declined.

said by Update, 11:20AM PST :

onGamers has confirmed with the team representatives that LCS players are disallowed from streaming the games listed below outright, not just when adjacent to a League of Legends stream. Under Section 3 Rule 4 of the new contract handling 'Non-League Events and Streaming', it states that "... the [LCS] Team shall ensure that, during the Term of this Agreement, its Team Members do not publicly stream gameplay of the titles set forth on Exhibit B". Exhibit B states "the specific restrictions on streaming are set forth in the Sponsorship and Streaming Restricted List, as updated by the League from time to time", which is the document listed below.

said by Update, 2:45PM PST :

Director of Esports at Riot GamesWhalen 'RiotMagus' Rozelle confirmed in a Reddit thread that the streaming and advertisement restrictions we reported on are, in fact, in place. His comment can be found below:

We say this all the time: we want League of Legends to be a legitimate sport. There are some cool things that come from that (salaried professional athletes, legitimate revenue streams, visas, Staples Center), but there’s also a lot of structural work that needs to be done to ensure a true professional setting.

We recognize there may be some differences of opinion in the perception of pro players’ streams. In the past, pro gamers only had to worry about their personal brands when streaming and, at most, may have had to worry about not using the wrong brand of keyboard to keep their sponsor happy. Now, however, these guys are professionals contracted to a professional sports league. When they’re streaming to 50,000 fans, they’re also representing the sport itself.

I can’t stress enough how these guys in the LCS are on the road to being real, legitimate athletes. This is new territory for a lot of teams (especially in esports), because the transition goes from being a group of talented individuals to being real icons of a sport and a league. Similarly, you probably wouldn’t see an NFL player promoting Arena Football or a Nike-sponsored player wearing Reebok on camera. Pro players are free to play whatever games they want – we’re simply asking them to keep in mind that, on-stream, they’re the face of competitive League of Legends.

Whalen Rozelle

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Jobbie
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Welcome to "Pro" gaming, I bet that is how the professional sports have to deal with their sponsoring contracts.
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f0rtys3ven
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reply to Krisnatharok
I had to break out the phone as all the readings on the work comp are blocked.

It seems from the pros they got a raise and the restrictions.
So yes it seems they will be barred from playing the competitors games as their league personas but it came with a raise in salary.
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I eat rappers with the rhyme. Consume 'em. The only fucking thing you consume is time. I'm superhuman.


f0rtys3ven
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reply to Krisnatharok
They didn't have the contract so they didn't know exactly what the players agreed to.

Edit: This is obvious because they had to make edits to the article and afterwards consult magnus to cover their butts over the blow back. If it was a big big deal the Pros would be bitching but they got paid so its not a big deal.


Krisnatharok
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reply to f0rtys3ven
If anything, the Slasher/Evoli article is a hard news story of "just the facts."

I believe you're calling it slanted because you support Riot 'professionalizing' the pro League scene through LCS with these sorts of content restrictions, and it does not have the context or analysis of the Ars story, which lends the reader to think this is an unfair move on Riot's part.

There's nothing wrong supporting Riot on this one (as I believe the end result will be an overall benefit for gamers and PC gaming), but I disagree with the pro gamers = athletes analogy, as computer games do not have the lasting power of sports (the NFL has been around since 1920), and continued advancements in computer technology means that games that are popular now will not have the same following in 10 years.

If anything, and this is just IMHO, Riot should be helping push a MOBA pro gaming league in conjunction with Blizzard and Hi-Rez, or else they better release a new engine in another 5 years.
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Krisnatharok
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reply to f0rtys3ven
said by f0rtys3ven:

They didn't have the contract so they didn't know exactly what the players agreed to.

Edit: This is obvious because they had to make edits to the article and afterwards consult magnus to cover their butts over the blow back. If it was a big big deal the Pros would be bitching but they got paid so its not a big deal.

Yeah, you're clearly not writing that from the pro-Riot POV at all. The initial story had the leaked of page of co-streaming another game "during or adjacent to" an LCS match. The reality, which has since been confirmed, is that LCS gamers are barred completely from streaming any of the listed games while they are on contract with Riot, which is way more restrictive than what the initial story indicated.

The update including Rozelle's comments on Reddit was not CYA on the writer's part, but simply the party line from Riot hyping the benefits of changing the contract, without mentioning the hurt in Twitch views.

The actual Reddit thread, with over 6000 replies (in a sub that rarely has a thread break 100 replies), is available here: »www.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends···_cannot/

said by f0rtys3ven:

Edit: This is obvious because they had to make edits to the article and afterwards consult magnus to cover their butts over the blow back. If it was a big big deal the Pros would be bitching but they got paid so its not a big deal.

Again, you make it sounds as if the original article was inaccurate or false and the writers had to backtrack. The reality appears to be that the contract is more restrictive that it seemed at first glance, and the community has blown up about it.
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f0rtys3ven
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reply to Krisnatharok
I'd prefer media wait to have facts before articles as anything less leads to pointless discussion over nothing. Slant was the incorrect word to use.

Yes I think Riot does good work. Yes thats obvious in my writing. No I am not trying to say I am not slanted.

Pro gamers = Althletes is the only way we can conceptualize E - Sports. The NFL is the perfect model because its been around since 1920.
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I eat rappers with the rhyme. Consume 'em. The only fucking thing you consume is time. I'm superhuman.


Jobbie
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reply to Krisnatharok
said by Krisnatharok:

I disagree with the pro gamers = athletes analogy

They are getting paid by a company to play their game and are dedicated full time to do it, with trainers, coaches etc. This happens in the real business world too, you are not allowed to even talk to a competitor company.
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f0rtys3ven
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reply to Krisnatharok
My boss gets weird if we have to sit next to another insurance company at a tech conference for gods sake.
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I eat rappers with the rhyme. Consume 'em. The only fucking thing you consume is time. I'm superhuman.


Krisnatharok
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reply to f0rtys3ven
said by f0rtys3ven:

I'd prefer media wait to have facts before articles as anything less leads to pointless discussion over nothing. Slant was the incorrect word to use.

Well, there is such a thing as breaking news... the updates were not 'edits' but actual updates with corroborating information. Breaking newsflashes happen all the time in the news industry.
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Krisnatharok
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reply to Jobbie
said by Jobbie:

said by Krisnatharok:

I disagree with the pro gamers = athletes analogy

They are getting paid by a company to play their game and are dedicated full time to do it, with trainers, coaches etc. This happens in the real business world too, you are not allowed to even talk to a competitor company.

The way I see it is that E-Sports are a niche, and Riot would be better served supporting the entire genre of getting the word out about pro MOBA gaming as opposed to limiting the exposure of professional gamers on Twitch. If they want to get the word out about E-Sports, they do it more successfully if they could professionalize their back-end so they don't have to restart games in the world series because of disconnects, power outages, or server crashes/DDOSes.

If this goes through, I'd give more credit for advancing E-Sports to the semi-pro players on Twitch who stream and play a variety of games over the LCS "super stars" who do nothing but play League of Legends all year.
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f0rtys3ven
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reply to Krisnatharok
Breaking news is broken in this country.

Edits Updates Revisions Changes - These are not the synonyms you are looking for.

I think League is really big right now and I think if they can continue to keep the fans they have they don't have to grow a ton to keep doing this for at least a couple more seasons. The international scene is very big.
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I eat rappers with the rhyme. Consume 'em. The only fucking thing you consume is time. I'm superhuman.