Riot Games’ UK boss Mark Cox has revealed some of the plans the developer has in store for the UK League of Legends scene.
Riot first announced it was opening a London office back in April, and is close to hiring staff for its last few positions. The company previously told Esports News UK the reasoning behind the new office was partly to ‘get boots on the ground’ and support the UK community.
Now, speaking to Esports Pro‘s Jake Tucker, Mark Cox has opened up with some specific ideas he has for the UK scene.
He said: “We see a scene that runs from high school or uni all the way through some sort of division two, division one and then a premier league.
“We want to give these players a chance to get scouted for a go at the LCS, but also a sustainable UK ecosystem that has strong brands, strong players and a strong identity. That builds a strong sense of community in the UK and ultimately, that’s why we’re here.”
Speaking of the LCS, the NA LCS has adopted a franchise model, and there has been lots of rumours flying around involving the future of the EU LCS. Esports News UK previously heard that part of the LCS could have moved to the UK and ESPN reporting that London could be one of four regions in the revamped LCS.
It’s since reported that these potential plans have been delayed until 2019.
“We want to give these players a chance to get scouted for a go at the LCS, but also a sustainable UK ecosystem that has strong brands, strong players and a strong identity.”
Mark Cox, Riot Games
While Mark obviously didn’t mention these specific rumours, he did say that if UK players are playing in a grassroots league, ‘we want to point the way, all the way from where they are to the EU LCS’.
He also mentioned the importance of helping UK esports organisations grow and improve.
“We’re not going to create it all for them, but we want to use our resources to connect them with the right people, and help them make the right choices,” Mark added.
“So, running regular AGMs for the teams, getting them in front of maybe even LCS teams so they can impart their information and some local knowledge around merch and streaming, and getting them in front of partners like Twitch and Facebook and really getting them to level up their own profiles so they can start building a sustainable business.”
Mark admits that the UK scene isn’t where it could be right now, but that the answer isn’t just throwing money into prize pools or salaries.
“It’s more about education and helping these guys live off of their orgs and getting structured in a way where they become self-sustaining,” he explained.
“Lots of our work will focus on education around investor sustainability and sponsorship and making sure that our orgs become really solid businesses so they can be there for a long, long time.”
Check out more views from Mark on Esports Pro
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
A keen League of Legends and World of Warcraft player, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He works as full-time content director for the British Esports Association and runs ENUK in his spare time.