"The fact is that most League of Legends teams lose money"


I’ve long wanted to own a competitive esports team. The revenue model has never made sense though. I’ve never been able to work it out where it wouldn’t just be a hobby that loses money year after year.

“The fact is that most League of Legends teams lose money. Operating costs continue to increase dramatically and Riot’s team compensation only covers a small fraction of those costs. In essence, team losses are subsidizing the marketing activities of a multi-billion dollar company.”

This is what it comes down to. Right now esports teams are providing a huge entertainment boost that markets games and gets people interested. This, all the while losing money.

Most of these are hobbyists who have turned more pro. Sometimes they have larger brands behind them but they’re still usually not breaking even.

You have to love the game and the sport more than you want to run an actual business. It’s not the NBA, yet.


So this article is only about LoL and specifically how Riot’s financial arrangement with the competitive community is imbalanced, not about eSports in general. I’d be interested to know if this is true for other eSport titles.


Same here Vocino…I’m curious how much the top 5 games, or any of the following, are pulling in.

  1. Dota 2
  2. CSGO
  3. Hearthstone (i in no way would own a hearthstone team unless its NBA numbers)
  4. SC2
  5. Rocket League
  6. PUBG (probably zero numbers on this yet)
  7. Overwatch


Do you think the NBA or NFL initially profited? Might be something interesting to research.

Part of the problem with esports might be that they are overpaying the players.

So I took a moment to do a search.

The article lists that one guy is paid $65,000 in salary. That’s about 1.5x what I was making as a civil engineer in Alabama in 2010 with a 4-year degree. On top of that he earns $21,000 in added bonuses. Some guys were paid $70k or more. One team is even offered health insurance.