ESPN Plus Ventures Into eSports with League of Legends

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated May 27, 2018

ESPN is venturing into eSports with its partnership with Riot Games to get streaming access for major League of Legends tournaments. League of Legends by Riot Games is one of the most popular online games currently. The Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game will see its North American Championships and the World Championships being streamed on the ESPN Plus platform this year.

The streaming rights will be non-exclusive, and the events will be available on streams in other popular streaming websites like Twitch and Riot Games’ own streams. The deal was announced shortly after ESPN Plus was launched by ESPN as part of its venture into online sports streaming. The service is available to anyone willing to shell out $4.99 a month for online content.


Image Courtesy of Android Authority

The platform offers thousands of hours of content spread across multiple sporting events every year including original shows that are exclusive to ESPN. The ESPN Plus service is meant to offer an ad-free and uninterrupted streaming experience for both mobile and desktop users. ESPN content is also available for free but in an ad-supported format for users who do not want to pay a subscription fee. Ads are shown in every pre and post-roll segment of every event in the free version of the service.

ESPN seeks to ride on the popularity of esports to gain subscriptions. With 80 million viewers tuning in for matches during the League of Legends World Championships last year, over 1.2 billion hours of eSports action was viewed during the event.

The World Championships conducted by Riot Games includes permanent teams that are funded by sports teams including Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. With plenty of traditional sports organizations venturing into the world of digital sports, ESPN is following suit by cashing in on one of the biggest online games of our generation.

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