Riot Games, the company behind the super-popular MOBA League of Legends, apparently doesn't like competition. Contract details uncovered by onGamers show an explicit list of games that players participating in Season 4 of the LCS tournament are not allowed to stream at all while the contract is active.
As you'd expect, it prevents the streaming of all popular and semi-popular MOBAs: Dota 2, Heroes of Newerth, SMITE, Awesomenauts, Demigod, Monday Night Combat, and Fat Princess. Wait, what?! Fat Princess? You've got to be pretty paranoid to even think about including Fat Princess on that list. You can check out the entire list here and you can complain to Riot's Twitter account here. I guess helping the eSports scene move forward has dropped from the priority list.
Riot has now commented on the issue, stating that "you probably wouldn’t see an NFL player promoting Arena Football or a Nike-sponsored player wearing Reebok on camera." That second part makes sense, but raises the question as to whether or not games and eSports are "brands" like Adidas. Players have always had sponsors, as they tap away on their Razer keyboards and chug down an unhealthy amount of Monster, but is Riot now considered a sponsor for their own game? There are some grey lines here that are natural considering that the scene is still in relative infancy, and at the very least, I'm glad they're now being raised.
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