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Business of Esports Minute 024: Riot Shops Options, Bud Light Console, CoD League Players Union

A week of news covering the intersection of business and gaming / esports, all in about one minute – everything you need to know from the “profit of esports” himself.

024 – November 22, 2020

From the keyboard to the boardroom, this is the Business of Esports Minute! Every single week, I, Paul Dawalibi, the prophet of esports, will be bringing you my hottest takes from the week, basically everything you need to know about the business of esports all in about one minute. Let’s go.

This week, Riot was rumored to be shopping around the streaming rights to English language League of Legends esports. According to the company, they are evaluating a number of options at the moment. Those might include the likes of Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Caffeine, or Trovo. Twitch has shown a reluctance to pay for any exclusive content. YouTube just recently paid significant dollars for Call of Duty and Overwatch League rights which haven’t performed. Caffeine is likely too small to afford the going price. That leaves Facebook and Trovo as interesting candidates. Trovo specifically might buy these rights as a beachfront into English-speaking markets. However Trovo and Riot are both owned by Tencent. Tencent may prefer for a third party to pay for the rights rather than move money from one pocket to the other. Only time will tell who wins out, but the going price will likely be quite steep. 

Bud Light made news this week when they announced they would be releasing a console of their own to compete in the current console cycle. And if you thought getting a PS5 was going to be hard, this one might be close to impossible. Only 1 will be made. However it does come with 6 games, has a built-in projector, and can keep 2 beers cold. Can’t say that about any of the current consoles. Better have deep pockets though as the current bid is up to over $15,000. In all seriousness, this is a brilliant ad campaign on behalf of Bud Light and it’s clear they understand the gaming audience. 

Finally, pro player OpTic Scump hinted at the formation of a possible Call of Duty League players union. This comes on the heels of incidents involving unfair fines, and players being forced to sign contracts without lawyers present. Players had previously tried to form a union, but Scump was the holdout. Now with Scump on board, it seems like a players union is a strong possibility before the 2021 season. While it would be easy to make arguments for or against players unions here, the real offender is Activision Blizzard. They continue to mismanage their leagues and make very poor management decisions. The fact that they already have player issues just a year into the life of the league is damning proof of continued ineptitude. 

For far more detailed insight and discussion into the business of esports, as well as the most exceptional line-up of guests, please tune in every week to the Business of Esports podcast and every Wednesday evening into the Business of Esports after-show livestream. Also make sure to follow us on Twitter @bizesports and on YouTube at The Business of Esports. 

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