After announcing its $350 million, seven-year partnership with BAMTech in December, Riot Games has given little-to-no information about what that partnership will mean for League of Legends fans.
But in a panel at SXSW, reported on by SportTechie, Riot’s co-head of esports Jarred Kennedy revealed just a few details about what fans can expect as a result of the deal.
Kennedy confirmed what had been suspected—the deal will see BAMTech develop a digital streaming platform for League of Legends esports. Kennedy claims that Riot has “no intention of having a subscription service of any kind,” allaying fears of some kind of paywall being applied to competitions like the LCS and LCK.
Kennedy also repeated what we learned in December, that League of Legends esports will not be moving off Twitch. Instead of removing access to leagues for Twitch viewers, Kennedy hopes to make the new platform “the preferred way to access” competitions.
While the platform will initially be free, Kennedy did suggest the possibility of premium elements being added in future. No details were given on a timescale for the service, but Kennedy did say that it was coming “soon.”
Kenny Gersh, executive vice-president of BAMTech’s parent company MLB Advanced Media, was also on the panel. He confirmed that responsibility for monetizing this new platform falls with BAMTech, and it will look to secure advertising and sponsorships on the service to recoup its $350 million investment.
BAMTech and MLBAM currently handle major streaming platforms for groups like the NHL, WWE, and of course MLB itself.