Wednesday afternoon, just a few days before opening weekend, Riot announced an expansion of their Co-Streaming Pilot Program, allowing their entire League Partner Program for both NA and OCE to co-stream the LCS broadcasts, along with LCS and Academy players. This will provide LCS fans an abundance of options for viewing the games, with commentary frojm their favorite streamers.
Riot first tested co-streams in NA during the 2018 Regional Qualifiers, allowing just a select few to participate. After positive results, they re-tested during Rift Rivals in 2019, opening it up to seven popular streamers: Yassuo, Scarra, Shiphtur, TFBlade, YourPrincess, Luxxbunny, and LS.
After those two tests, Riot has decided to test it in a much larger format, opening up the entire LCS Spring Split for another Pilot, and expanding privileges to the entire League Partner Program for both NA and OCE. It is important to note, though OCE Partners can co-stream, this is restricted to LCS broadcasts only, OPL co-streaming is not currently set up.
We can now switch over to a Heisendong stream when some bot laner inevitably locks in Heimer, or check out Voyboy to understand the tech behind whatever new pick pops up in competitive play. Academy players can separate themselves from the pack by breaking down the games or providing some entertainment value to grow their brand. And we can expect Yiliang "Peter" "Doublelift" Peng to stream some Monday Night League to throw shade on anyone and everyone else playing.
Riot didn't mention any progress or pilot programs for EU or other leagues, but China and Korea have already been following this pattern to a certain extent. If these tests go well, it's possible they'll open it up further, or establish a more permanent future for co-streams. Eventually, these partnerships could add a large percentage of viewers, open up esports to more viewers, and drastically increase sponsorship deals.
Who you are most excited to watch co-stream this Spring Season and why is it tyler1? Let us know by commenting on our Twitter below, and stay tuned for more news on the LCS.