League of Legends versus G2A

If you’re not aware of it, G2A, the digital game key vendor that’s had some questionable incidents of stolen keys being sold to customers, runs a robust marketing campaign through eSports team sponsorships and YouTube/Twitch streamer partnerships. Some of the most popular pro game teams/personalities (Cloud9, Counter Logic Gaming, H2K, paiN Gaming, JackFrags, etc) are in bed with G2A and even feature G2A’s logo on their team-branded merchandise like t-shirts and hats.

G2A was selling League of Legends boosting services through third parties as well as actual accounts. Since this violated LoL’s terms and cut them out of some sweet customer money, Riot has banned G2A from their official events. No logos, branding, or audio mentions of G2A are allowed at official LoL competitions.

…We’ve already formally banned them as a sponsor as of September 18th, and have no plans to reconsider the decision at this time.

This was NOT a decision we made lightly, and came after many weeks of back and fourth conversations with G2A to find a resolution, which we were not able to reach an agreement on. We do not at all enjoy affecting the income of the teams, but the LCS rules include guidelines specifically against this sort of thing. We did however keep teams in the loop during the process in an attempt to avoid any surprises.

As one might imagine, this is a BIG DEAL to the people that were being sponsored.

It’d be the height of ridiculousness for C9 to come into Worlds as a massive NA-region underdog facing seemingly unbeatable Korean and Chinese teams, win the whole thing in a movie-worthy miracle run, and then disband by month’s end from lack of sponsorship funding.

Rough deal all around, but to some extent, this is what happens when you tie your fortunes to a known scam, just like all those esports teams and channels that took up the scammy money from Azubu (whose original formation was quietly understood to be a money laundering front.