News broke yesterday courtesy of Ongamers.com that Riot would be prohibiting LCS players from streaming certain games like Dota 2, Starcraft 2, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft etc. Most of the community immediately went to its first reaction to almost everything - they grabbed their pitchforks. (For the full story on the new rule and what players can and can't player check out Evoli and Slaher's wonderful piece here).
When I first heard the news, I was right there with everyone questioning what Riot could possibly be thinking. How could they tell players what to do in their free time? Don't they know what freedom is? These colors don't run..MURICA and so forth. Having had some time to digest the news, I now realize this rule isn't so bad and isn't so different from what other sports leagues do. However, it brings about much bigger questions for everyone involved: where's the limit for what Riot can dictate to players and organizations, and should players have some way of negotiating for themselves?
Why the New Rule is Fair - A Non-compete Clause
First and foremost, Riot is a business. Businesses want to grow and expand their brand. Riot loves building up e-Sports, but it doesn't want its stars using their fame to promote other games by playing them on stream. E-Sports is a vehicle for Riot to grow, and more games being popular helps the scene but not necessarily Riot. The clause they added into the LCS players contracts is in effect, a non-compete clause where the person(s) under contracts agrees to not work with any similar competitors.