Over the past few years, people have been looking for ways to give North American League of Legends pro players a bit more control over their futures within the esports industry. Now, the LCS Players Association has taken the first steps toward this goal by entering a multi-year partnership with OneTeam to manage and commercialize the group rights for all 100 LCS and Academy players.
“Our group rights program will ensure sustainability and independence for the LCSPA,” LCSPA executive director Phillip Aram said. “OneTeam will apply the same group licensing expertise to our new LCSPA program that have made them undisputed leaders in the space across traditional professional and collegiate sports.”
OneTeam currently represents a range of commercial businesses on behalf of athletes across multiple different players associations, including the NFLPA, MLBPA, MLSPA, the U.S. Women’s National Team PA, and the WNBPA. The company’s role is to help maximize the value of players’ rights through multiple avenues.
For example, players will have a chance to increase the value of their name, image, and likeness across different aspects like digital games, trading cards, merchandise, and more. OneTeam will also help players build connections and opportunities with brands for possible sponsorships, athlete marketing, content, and digital marketing.
The company’s competitive gaming head, Marty Strenczewilk, also said that the size of the LCS fan base is comparable to those of established, traditional sports. As a result, the league’s players “deserve to have the same business opportunities as their stick and ball counterparts,” according to Strenczewilk.
The LCSPA was established in 2017 to improve bargaining power for North American pros. Since its inception, the association helped establish and implement the first esports player contract database in 2018. It also helped create an exclusive super-server for current LCS players and aspiring pros called the Champion’s Queue. This partnership with OneTeam, however, is one of the biggest steps the association has taken in trying to give more power to the player base.
“I took on the role of President because I wanted to help players everywhere,” LCSPA president Darshan Upadhyaya said. “Partnering with OneTeam is a huge win for players today because it’s going to protect their rights and put money back in their pockets, but it also sets the LCSPA up to be an independent force for good in player lives for years to come.”