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New NA LCS structure will include teams contributing some of their own revenue to collaborative pool

Riot Games added revenue sharing to the table for NA LCS teams starting in 2018.
Riot Games added revenue sharing to the table for North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) teams starting in 2018. Photo courtesy of Riot Games

As Riot Games commits to revenue sharing with its “permanent partners” of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS), the teams will also be expected to contribute for future cooperative projects.

Riot Games announced Thursday the future of the NA LCS (in addition to the end of relegation and the implementation of a players union) will include a major financial change in the form of revenue sharing. Starting next year, players will get an increase of base salary, as well as 35 percent of the total revenue generated as an additional bonus. Teams and Riot will split the difference of 32.5 percent each, and all “league driven revenue” will be pooled into one.

In a Yahoo Esports roundtable, representatives for Riot also explained some additional incentives for the team. Aside from revenue sharing, financial benefits will be offered to teams in the NA LCS that perform well during the split, while weaker teams will be subject to “escalating financial penalties.”

The roundtable also set forth plans for teams to pitch-in a portion of their League-driven revenue to a pool that will be drawn for cooperative projects between Riot and the NA LCS teams. That revenue includes but not limited to sponsorships and merchandise deals, meaning those teams with more resources will be chipping in more than those without. Team SoloMid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh and Immortals CEO Noah Whinston both opened up their books to Riot, they said, in a way to help collaborate with Riot on the revenue sharing deal.

Riot has not clarified what these collaborative projects might look like, though it emphasized a vision of teams “competing with each other,” as opposed to competing against, and that this measure will be the start of what will hopefully be a steadily growing part of professional League.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games

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