League of Legends gets in-game ads with Arena Banners
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May 28, 2020

League of Legends gets in-game ads with Arena Banners

Riot Games announced yesterday the addition of digital advertisements within League of Legends‘ main map, Summoner’s Rift. The creation of a new digital product on an in-game map heralds a huge change in promotions. Thus far, Riot has said that Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners will only occur for League of Legends esports viewers. Players on the Summoner’s Rift game mode will not see these ad banners.

Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners

Summoner's Rift Arena Banner featuring Mastercard in League of Legends.

Image credit to Riot Games.

Beginning with the Summer Split in the middle of June, official League of Legends esports broadcasts will highlight the viewing experience with Arena Banners. Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners will “more deeply integrate our partners to engage local and regional fan bases,” according to Riot Games. However, this won’t affect the playing experience for professional players. In order to avoid map distractions for LoL esports players, Arena Banners are not visible on the player-side client, only for viewers.

Riot Games intends for this feature to better highlight their League of Legends partners. Their provided image shows off Mastercard, a longtime LoL esports partner, and its logo hanging on a banner on Summoner’s Rift. But the real excitement from this new feature comes from what’s next. League of Legends recently celebrated its 10-year celebration but this is the first time digital advertisements occur inside LoL. Some fans are surprised it’s taken this long to include in-game advertisement reaching millions of players.

League of Legends Esports Advertisements

If in-game ads become prevalent in titles, that could massively change digital marketing. Esports continues to gather larger audiences, which means more opportunities for promotions and partnerships. Because a large part of the esports industry’s income comes from sponsorships and partners, Riot Games’ announcement is huge. Mastercard’s arrival into Summoner’s Rift as an Arena Banner opens the path for other sponsors to enter video games. Esports viewership grows by the year and sponsors will certainly be more interested than ever before to reach more audiences. Blizzard’s Overwatch, Riot Games’ VALORANT, and Valve’s CS:GO are other notable esports that may see in-game sponsors. Mastercard is the first major sponsor to enter League of Legends esports on the map but they won’t be the last.

“We see this as an important next step to help our leagues and teams reach their next stage of growth,” Riot Games said. “Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners, along with products like Pro View and Watch Missions, allow us to build experiences that integrate with the core League of Legends game to give players and viewers more ways to engage with the sport.”

Although they’re already being seen as the Disney of esports, Riot Games continues growing its reach through fan engagement. This new feature is a double positive because of its new promotion strategy all while simulating live sports and their advertisement banners.

LCS Summer Split begins June 12 where Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners will go live. Watching the League of Legends esports scene will be the only way to view this feature’s success. With Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners, a new dynamic enters the esports world that may even grow the entire industry.

Written by Justin Amin

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