Because the mud settles from Riot Video games’ layoffs earlier this week, the cuts paint a worrying image for the corporate’s esports ambitions. Whereas the League of Legends and Valorant writer dedicated to extra tightly integrating esports into its different merchandise, staffing cuts for the League of Legends EMEA Championship (LEC) and its unreleased esports streaming platform present that Riot is pruning its ambitions.
The LEC is considered one of Riot’s most watched regional leagues, but it surely has let go key manufacturing workers. In accordance with an inventory compiled by VTuber and profession coach btwbluwu, no less than 27 LEC workers had been impacted. Notably, these cuts embrace the LEC’s govt producer, head of manufacturing, backend engineers and sport observers.
Notably, these cuts occurred simply earlier than the third week of the LEC’s 2024 season. Whereas the league will nonetheless maintain these matches, the impression on manufacturing may very well be drastic. Followers are notably upset because the LEC’s manufacturing (and degree of play) distinguish the league from its North American counterpart.
Nonetheless, the LEC isn’t the one casualty in Riot Video games’ layoffs. The developer additionally confirmed to Bloomberg that it official killed its deliberate Twitch rival, codenamed Riot Esports Community (REN).
The roots of this undertaking stretch again to 2016 when the writer introduced a $350 million cope with BAMTech. This fell aside when Disney acquired a controlling stake in BAMTech in 2018.
REN would have given Riot Video games extra management of the viewing, together with integrations to advertise groups and sponsors. This various would have been notably helpful given Twitch’s looming shut down in South Korea. Final 12 months, Riot debuted its Digital Go to complement the League of Legends viewing expertise for followers and drive income for groups. It’s not clear how these cuts will impression Riot’s ambitions to develop direct fan monetization going ahead.
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