Just a day before the launch of a new type of high-roller Teamfight Tactics tournament, Riot Games stepped in to make changes to ensure the event meets the terms of service, as play in TFT is not not authorized.
TFT content creator “YippeeMaokaiYay” and partner Stakekings.com planned to hold a $10,000 prize pool tournament with eight well-known players, each entering the event with $1,250 to make up the $10,000 prize pool aforementioned. Notable players taking part in this event on Saturday, June 25 include Cloud9’s Michael “k3Soju” Zhang and Team Liquid’s Alex “Kurumx” Tompkins.
With Stakekings.com as a partner, spectators were to be allowed to ‘bet’ their favorite player in for a chance to win a share of the $10,000 prize pool themselves. Riot drew a line here, saying that buy-in tournaments could continue in the future, but without association with gaming sites and absolutely wager-free.
Staking refers to the idea that someone can pay a portion of a player’s entry to earn that percentage of that player’s winnings. For example, if someone bet half of a player’s $1250 and that player won $5000, the person who bet half the entry would win $2500, or half the winnings. This is done as a way of mitigating the risk for the entering player while giving spectators a chance to win money without playing.
This violates Riot Games’ Terms of Service for Hosting Third-Party Events, as Riot does not allow gambling to participate in a tournament.
Michael Sherman, global head of esports at TFT, posted a statement late Friday afternoon, stating “we love the passion, but we’ve asked them to remove the ability for the community to wager their buy-ins as it’s not something we’ll be allowing at this time.”
Sherman also said that Riot is working with the organizer to refund any fans who have ever staked a player.