Riot partners with League esports organisations for Star Guardian event

The Star Guardians tease a return to Valoran City.Riot Games

Riot has introduced a new revenue-sharing opportunity for multiple LEC and LCS organizations, enrolling them in League’s Partner Program for a chance to earn money through affiliate links for skins.

The League of Legends partner program, originally debuted in 2018, gave content creators the opportunity to connect with their communities through giveaways of limited edition green chromas, along with a host of other perks including easier access to Riot’s development team.

But with the announcement of the new Star Guardian skin line, Riot have added a new facet to their partner program – the chance for partners to earn commission on skins sold through their affiliate links.

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And, alongside the program’s expansion, they’re now offering the opportunity for esports organizations in the LEC and LCS to host their own affiliate shops.

What does this mean for the Partner Program?

This is the first time that League’s partner program has been opened up to esports organizations, as well as individual creators.

Every organization in the LEC and LCS has received an affiliate link, through which they earn a 5-10% cut of any purchases made. Currently, only the Star Guardian skins are available through affiliate shops, and this initial rollout is only a test run, running from July 14 to August 9.

The reception of the initiative has been generally positive, with Fnatic CEO Sam Matthews saying it could “pave the way to strong growth for the entire ecosystem”.

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However, there have been those who have criticized the inclusion of esports organizations in the program, arguing that since applications for the partner program have been closed since 2020, the opportunity to join should have been given to smaller creators first and foremost.

Depending on how this initial test performs, we could see the affiliate link program expanded in the future, including more creators and potentially even esports organizations from other regions like the LCK and LPL.