PSG have announced their esports division will be withdrawing their support from competitive League of Legends. This follows EU Riot ignoring the outcries from organisations currently competing in the EU LCS and EU CS scene about the poor competitive situation.
We are withdrawing from League of Legends for now
— PSG eSports (@PSGeSports) October 5, 2017
Why did PSG leave?
Paris Saint-Germain stated their esports division had intended to gain a greater fan base, mostly through wider international support. Frankly, their competitive League team failed to do so.
They ultimately blamed League of Legends publisher Riot Games, outlining the many uncertainties for the scene in the future. PSG centres on the poor ‘economic balance’ within the EU Challengers Series due to the poor revenue sharing model. Riot Europe has failed to reveal any plans to change the EU LCS / CS to a franchise / league system, such as the one Riot North America is set to run in 2018.
PSG specifically claim the current system is failing to compensate the operating costs of their team. These rising expenses were primarily blamed on the inflation of player salaries – understandable, considering major teams are spending more than ever to acquire key talent.
Asian countries responsible for wage hikes
This recent surge in player salaries has stemmed from the largest teams across the world – specifically from China and Korea. To delve further into why these two regions are able to inflate player salaries so highly and remain profitable, we have to look at where they get their revenue from.
As many know, the influence from esports in China and Korea is much greater compared to the other regions, like the EU. Teams such as SKT and Samsung, who are both funded by their sponsors – which these companies justify due to their increased brand exposure as a result – find themselves in a much better position than independent orgs. This has skewed the odds in favour of the branded teams.
But why did PSG really leave?
While PSG blame the poor revenue sharing model in the EU CS, this is likely only a small factor in their overall decision to leave LoL. It is more likely due to the teams’ poor performance in the EU CS, where they failed to qualify for the EUCS Spring playoffs and ended in a disappointing 6th place in the recent 2017 EU LCS Summer Split. This meant the team failed to gather enough support from fans, leading to the failure in the PSG esports main goal to gather more “international influence”.
What does Riot needs to do next?
Riot should seriously get a move on and take action. This should be done through making the EU system equal in format to the NA system set in 2018. Riot’s overwhelming attention to the NA league had left them ignoring the outcries from teams in the EU LCS, who are still pressured by the poor conditions. Even some of the biggest teams have stated they wish to withdraw from the EU LCS as they are even failing to meet team costs and incurring losses in the millions.