Riot Games is looking to expand its sponsorship program in League of Legends by introducing new in-game advertisements. Starting with Summer Split, players will see new banners across Summoner’s Rift that feature esports-related branding. These banners, called Summoner’s Rift Arena Banners, will be unique depending on local and regional fans.
This inclusion is the first new digital product Riot Games is announcing before Summer Split. The Arena Banners are designed to “build a richer viewing experience around esports.” Riot hopes that by replicating advertising methods from traditional sports, it can generate more interest in esports.
The blog revealed Mastercard as one of the potential Arena Banner advertisers. A longtime sponsor of League of Legends, Mastercard partnered with the League of Legends Championship Series to bring a fan to the finals. While those plans likely changed when Riot rescheduled the games to take place online, Mastercard has been involved with League of Legends for some time.
— lolesports (@lolesports) May 26, 2020
How Arena Banners work in League of Legends
Players and pros don’t need to worry about how the banners will appear in official matches. Pros will still play on the traditional Summoner’s Rift map, so the banners will not interfere with matches. This way, while the Arena Banners content might change based on location, all players will stay on the same Summoner’s Rift.
Riot Games sees Arena Banners as a way for leagues and teams to grow and evolve. Along with Arena Banners, other products like Pro View and Watch Missions allow Riot to experiment with the viewing experience. Global head of communications and esports David Higdon responded to one fan’s concerns about too much integration on Twitter.
“We’ll be very careful on how we innovate around it,” said Higdon. “Let us know what you think when you watch it this summer. We’ll adjust as needed.”
Summer Split starts June 13, and players should expect more digital products to come to League of Legends before then. For more League of Legends news, updates, and more, make sure to follow Daily Esports.