Trying to put a stop to the crisis of financial inadequacy of its pro scene, Riot Games recently released a statement outlining their plans for fixes for the situation. One of the points outlined in the plan was the intention to raise Worlds prize-pool by putting 25% of Championship champion and ward skin’s revenue in the the sum awarded to teams. This change was supposed to apply to this year’s event.
Riot games revealed that due to sales revenue of Championship Zed and Championship Ward skins, the payout has already increased by a bit more than $2 million dollars, reaching $4 million, when the revenue percentage was added to the initial prize pool of $2 million. That actually gives an insight into how much Riot Games can make from sales of a skin. Granted, Championship skins are limited time only, as well as very cool, so they probably earn more in a shorter time than normal, but still, if 25% is 2 million, Championship Zed and Ward skins earned Riot around $8 MILLION dollars. That’s honestly impressive.
Okay, the prize pool is the best it’s ever been in League of Legends, if not eSports. Dota 2 had a record prize pool of $20 million dollars, after all. In either case, it’s important to know how the money is going to be distributed. Obviously, using set amounts of money doesn’t work with a dynamic prize pool, so Riot set percentages for each place. Here it is:
1st place: 40% of the prize pool
2nd place: 15% of the prize pool
3rd/4th place: 7,5% of the prize pool
5th-8th place: 4% of the prize pool
9th-12th place: 2.25% of the prize pool
13th-16th place: 1.25% of the prize pool
The distribution is a little bit weird in this tournament. Usually, it’s a little bit more top-heavy, so to speak, with 50% going to the winner and the rest distributed to the top 8 in shrinking sums when going down the standings. Apparently, Riot Games wanted to reward the teams participating in the tournament for their work during the whole season by paying some money out even to the last place teams. How much will they get? Around $50,000, which is honestly better than what high-placed teams receive in CS:GO’s non-Major tournaments. Of course, comparing non-Valve sponsored events to the League of Legends tournament of the year, organized by the developer is not exactly fair.
Let’s make it fair by looking at the most recent CS:GO Major, ESL One Cologne. Valve put up $1,000,000, 50% of which went to the winner, 15% to 2nd place, 7% to 3rd-4th, 3,5% to 5th-8th, and the last 8 teams received $8,750, which is 0,875% of the overall prize pool. Worlds prize pool is 4 times bigger, so the money will be unavoidably more impressive. If you want to see what it would look like with LoL-level sums of money, just multiply CS:GO sums by 4 to get what they would be using the CS:GO model to distribute the LoL Worlds prize pool. The most interesting thing is that Riot Games chose to take 10% of the whole prize pool from the winner (that’s around $400,000 for a $4 million pool, by the way) and distributed it to support the weakest teams more. Keeping in mind that a Korean or Chinese team is the most likely to win, dedicated more money to support the regions with harder financial circumstances seems like a great idea. After all, it’s not like SK Telecom can’t support their marketing vehicle, not to mention Samsung, while European and NA teams struggle financially much more often.