Riot Games close to $90 million annual deal with MLB Advanced Media

Riot Games is close to forming a deal with MLB Advanced Media’s BAM Tech to stream their esports offering on the MLB platform. 

The deal is rumoured to be in the region of $90 million (~£72 million) a year and could see the most popular esports event in the world (League of Legends World Championships) removed from number one streaming platform Twitch

Samsung Galaxy versus SK Telecom T1 at the 2016 World Championship - Finals at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, USA on 29 October 2016. Credit Riot Games
Samsung Galaxy versus SK Telecom T1 at the 2016 World Championship – Finals at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, USA on 29 October 2016. Credit Riot Games

It comes in a tumultuous week for Riot as their esports ecosystem has come under increased scrutiny. Teams have expressed their concerns at the lack of sustainable player salaries and support in the scene which is largely governed by the game developer itself. 

The document that has hinted at the deal was revealed by Richard Lewis in a video, although the terms are relatively vague at the moment.

It’s unknown as to whether Twitch will lose it’s broadcasting of League of Legends and how the game will generally be broadcast going forward. Rumours are suggesting that  the video content may be behind a pay-wall in the future should the deal with MLB go ahead. 

Esports Insider says: This would be a huge move should it come into fruition. It’s a move that would likely shake up the whole of esports. It may be a catalyst in esports moving away from Twitch as publishers seek to maximise revenue. It’s a huge U-turn from Riot who previously were stubborn with regards to any third party sponsorship or brands entering the space.