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Vainglory devs announce rev-sharing program with eSports teams for 2017

If the program is successful, pro Vainglory teams will see strong financial support from the developers and possibly establish home cities for teams to give audiences eSports hometown heroes.

Bryant Francis

December 1, 2016

2 Min Read

As the rapidly-ballooning business of eSports has grown larger and larger, developers have begun to grapple with how to properly support professional teams and players. In recent months, some have begun to make noise about how they aren’t making enough money from playing professionally. 

In response to this, it seems developers like Vainglory creator Super Evil Megacorp are attempting to get ahead of the curve. In a press release today, the company announced a new eSports franchise program intended to share revenue with pro Vainglory teams like TSM, C9 and Team Secret,and provide support for teams to set up official home cities for themselves. 

Devs working on eSports programs of their own ought to keep an eye on Vainglory’s program as it takes shape, since teams are being promised a share of revenue from broadcast rights, ticket sales, and sponsorships. These were some of the revenue sources that League of Legends teams, for instance, requested Riot make available to them in a letter a few months ago.

The pro teams included in this franchise arrangement will also make up a
governing advisory council meant to oversee changes to both the competitive structure and gameplay proposed by Vainglory’s developers. 

Super Evil Megacorp’s announcement seems generally addressed at attracting more pro eSports teams with promises to sustain this financial infrastructure. In an e-mail to Gamasutra, COO Kristian Segerstrale says the goal is to run a more flexible franchise operation that still allows unfranchised teams to compete in the pro Vainglory league. 

“Rather than attempting to emulate something uniform and fully regulated like the NFL, we are instead aiming to be something broader and more flexible, like soccer,” Segerstaile explains. 

And for those curious about the mention of “official home cities,” Segerstrale says they haven’t gotten involved with local governments about this yet, but they are aiming to provide support for teams interested in cultivating local talent and hometown pride. 

It’s a possible strategy that could help foster a bigger Vainglory fanbase (think what it would mean to root for a team named the San Francisco Steamrollers, for instance), and create a clear pipeline from local tournaments to professional players. 

For prospective Vainglory team owners out there, the company says teams will have until January 15 2017 to apply for program membership. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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