Riot Games Says No to Fans Staking Players for TFT Tournament

Riot Games is all for fan-driven initiatives except when they involve gambling. The topic of gambling has not been entirely a tabu for game developers, and League of Legends and Valorant, both Riot Games’ titles, are some of the most wagered-on games out there.

Staking out Players in TFT Turns out a Bad Idea

But a new type of high-roller buy-in for a Teamfight Tactics tournament was politely stopped in its tracks by the company, which decided that alluding to gambling-like mechanics was at the time inappropriate, although not necessarily condemning or criticizing the initiative as the company has placed a great value on self-starters within the community.

TFT content creator “YippeeMaokaiYay” decided to work with Stakekings.com and host a $10,000 prize pool tournament, bringing together eight well-established players. Each player was invited to place $1,250, which was accepted by participants who saw it as a form of poker.

Stakekings.com wanted to put a twist on the experience with the company offering players to actually back their players by helping pay the buy-in. This is not unlike how some poker players have a person who “stakes them” and they then share some of the winnings with said person.

This is precisely what the idea behind staking out TFT players was. However, Riot Games objected to this and argued that buy-in tournaments could indeed be a part of a future model, acknowledging the idea and its merit, but said that it would not come in any collaboration with a gambling website or fans and players being asked to stake out players.

The idea behind the staking model is interesting. It effectively gives viewers shares in a player’s performance. But then, they claim winnings based on that share. How this is calculated would depend on services such as Stakekings.com. Regardless, Riot Games has described the tournament pitch as a direct breach of its T&C’s when it comes to third parties hosting tournaments.

Riot Clarifies on Objection and Confirms Commitment to Players  

Michael Sherman from Riot Games decided to step in further, after explaining the company’s motivation in not allowing this tournament’s staking model to kick off.

Some top TFT players recently announced a high buy-in tournament where the community could stake their buy-in. We’re excited to see the passion, but we’ve asked them to remove the ability for the community to stake their buy-in as this is not something we allow at this time.

Michael Sherman from Riot Games

He further added that Riot Games was already in touch with the organization and attempting to ensure that all consumers receive a refund as the tournament would not happen. Sherman explained that the stance is consistent with Legends of Runeterra as a whole. While this may look like a blip, it’s a clear sign that Riot Games would continue to support community-driven content and initiatives that do not invite hidden dangers.

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