The coming League of Legends LCS 2018 could take place without H2K. In an open letter to the community and LoL developer Riot Games, the top team H2K threatens to leave the LCS with the end of the LCS 2017, which is the LoL Worlds 2017. The reason for this is the unfair distribution of total revenues, from which Riot Games retains a large part of its revenues, while H2K experiences losses of one million euros a year. According to the letter, they are by far not the only LoL team to suffer such losses. And this despite the fact that H2K is one of the most successful teams in League of Legends. Just at the beginning of September 2017 the players finished fourth in the EU LCS finals 2017.
Since 2015, they have earned a total of 425,250 US dollars in prize money, making them the number one in Europe and number 6 worldwide. A pretty good achievement. H2K earns the lion’s share of its revenues, as do many other Esport teams, through contracts with sponsors. They also receive a portion of the revenue generated by Riot Games from the sale of in-game objects and tickets for tournaments. H2K writes in an open letter that Riot Games’ income from the item shop alone amounts to about 2 billion US dollars per year. In addition they have contracts for television broadcasts worth at least 50 million dollar. H2K wants to get a higher share of this money, because without the participation of the teams there are no matches to watch. Accordingly, Riot Games revenues would also decline dramatically. In view of these points, H2K is now threatening to withdraw from the EU LCS League at the end of the 2017 season if Riot Games does not grant at least $850,000 to the team through a revenue share or similar.
Part of this money could be linked to the achievement of certain audience numbers, performances in tournaments or other clearly verifiable milestones. In addition, it has to be ensured that the next league is set up in such a way that the starting positions of H2K and the other teams will increase in value and will not be weakened – something that could be the case with new and smaller competitors. If H2K makes true to their threat they will not be able to particiapte in the LCS 2018. The letter was written by H2K’s management. Riot Games has not yet made a public statement on the subject.
In response to H2K Gaming’s letter, the manager Romain “Khagneur” Bigeard from Unicorns of Love explains in a video how sports teams make money, either through contracts with sponsors, sales of products and payments from Riot Games, also explains that you have to put aside the idea that tournament prizes are for the team, but for their players. On the other side he also explains the different roles within the organization, how they spend money between player payments, logistics and other things that the team requires.