Yesterday, Riot Games and the LCS revealed their partnership with ESPAT media, which will become the official licensing partner of the LCS, putting photographs from the entire LCS season behind a paywall.
Founded in 2018, ESPAT is the only digital-media licensing platform dedicated to the gaming & esports community. They have captured some of the most iconic moments in esports. ESPAT will work with the LCS to distribute photographs taken at the LCS Arena and behind the scenes throughout the season, for editorial and commercial use.
Although this licensing fee isn’t set to start until LCS Lock-In 2022, Travis Gafford was the first to point out the issues that may occur with this partnership. Currently, there are images on ESPAT’s website from MSI 2021 that are available to purchase, though the prices of the images currently stand at $100 USD per photo, per use.
The price of $100 isn’t affordable for the smaller content creators and media outlets who are building the next LCS storyline and narrative. These content creators are trying their hardest to keep the already decreasing lack of interest and viewership for the LCS alive.
Gamezo reached out to Mario Prosperino, Co-Founder of ESPAT. We raised our concerns for the smaller media outlets and content creators that will be heavily affected by the licensing fees. Mario Prosperino revealed to us that ESPAT will release an official statement next week after the holiday break in the United States.
Mario Prosperino has since responded to a few concerns, saying “our platform will not be a ‘one size shoe fits all” and that “the team is working on a community-centric tier pricing“
This new partnership will affect your favourite esports journalists and content creators, many of them have already taken to social media to voice their concerns but we’re still waiting for a public response.
Many would agree that there needs to be infrastructure for licensing rights with esports images, but we believe this isn’t the correct way to go about it. Ads are annoying, I agree, but without them, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, especially when we’re paying $100 per image.