(credits to riot games)

Riot Games and its impact on the Esports World

Case Study Jun 6, 2022


An American video game developer, publisher, and Esports tournament organizer based in West Los Angeles, California founded in September 2006, Riot Games is one of the biggest names in the Esports world as of now. Having developed some of the most famous video games, Riot Games’ creation League Of Legends is the one that stood out the most in all these years. In this blog, we’ll take a deeper look into the history of Riot Games, how it was developed, its creations, and how it is still relevant in the Gaming world even after so many years of its establishment.

History of Riot Games

Riot Games was founded by Brandon "Ryze" Beck and Marc "Tryndamere" Merrill who became friends while being roommates at the University of Southern California, where the two studied business. Beck and Merrill believed too many video game developers diverted their focus from game to game too often, distinguishing Defense of the Ancients as an indication that games could be supported and monetized long-term. Beck and Merrill sought funding from family and angel investors, raising US$ 1.5 million to launch their company. Riot Games was established in September 2006 in Santa Monica, California. The first person Riot Games recruited was Steve "Guinsoo" Feak, one of the early developers of DotA Allstars, a game considered to have been foundational to the MOBA genre.

After several rounds of funding totaling $8 million, including investments by the Benchmark and FirstMark Capital venture capital firms, as well as Chinese holding company Tencent, who would later become League of Legends' distributor in China, and then the parent company of Riot Games.

Following six months of beta tests, Riot Games released League of Legends as a free-to-play game on October 27, 2009. Riot Games’ creation, League of Legends became the talk of the town during those days after its release, and the rest as we know it is “history”.

Games developed by Riot Games

  • League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game released in 2009.
  • Teamfight Tactics, an Auto Battler game released in 2019 is a spin-off of League of Legends and based on Dota Auto Chess.
  • 2020 was a good year for Riot Games as it released a number of games during that period including League of Legends: Wild Rift, Legends of Runeterra, and Valorant which is a first-person shooter game.
  • Many other minor games were also developed by Riot Games in the past decade. For some games, it was just the publisher and the game was developed by a third party.
(credits to Riot Games)

Impact of Riot Games on the Esports industry

Most importantly, Riot’s first game LoL itself has been such great success in the Esports Industry that it gave the company all the exposure and fame it needed in the beginning. LOLhas cemented itself in the gaming industry, being one of the most played games. Riot has been in the gaming industry for more than a decade, but it is in recent years that they have really stepped up their level. having been in the market for so long, Riot has become an inspiration and model for others. Riot Games has set a precedent and other companies are trying to follow.

By releasing 3 games simultaneously in 2020, Riot has set a bar and a benchmark that is not going to be easy to be broken even in the coming times. Its most famous games currently LoL and Valorant are the top games in the market and have also become the first choice of gamers and gaming enthusiasts.

(credits to epic games)


Let us take  look at some of the statistics related to Riot Games:

  • In 2022, Riot Games hit the 180 million monthly active players milestone.
  • Developer Riot Games earned $18.72 million in revenue from VALORANT.
  • In 2020, Riot Games generated a revenue of $1.75 billion with League of Legends.
  • The average number of viewers of LoL on the streaming platform Twitch has been steadily on the rise, with streams watched by an average of over 186 thousand viewers worldwide in July 2021.

These stats and facts prove how Riot Games have stayed relevant through all these years. Although there have been some lawsuits and allegations against Riot Games for promoting a toxic work culture, the popularity of its games has been increasing at a wide range in the last few years.

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