Riot Games and real-time esports data platform Grid have formed a long-term strategic partnership. In this multi-year deal, Riot named Grid the worldwide official esports data partner for League of Legends esports and the Valorant Champions Tour. Additionally, Riot has acquired an equity stake in Grid as a part of this deal.
As Riot’s official data partner, Grid will exclusively distribute real-time esports match data and provide infrastructure solutions for Riot’s highest profile esports products. Both the global LoL esports and VCT ecosystems will feature data sourced by Grid through out the broadcasts. AWS will continue to support Riot with the presentation of this data in Riot’s esports broadcasts.
In February, Riot and Grid released the Valorant Data Portal (VDP). The platform gave pro teams access to esports match and scrim data and analytics tools. The companies plan to double down and launch the The League of Legends Esports Data Portal (LDP). This sister platform will give LoL pro teams data and analytics tools modeled after the VDP.
“Riot Games was the first game publisher to truly invest in esports, understanding its role beyond a marketing exercise for the games, and created an impressive, unique competitive ecosystem. Grid was founded on the conviction that data holds immense potential for such ecosystems. We have made it our mission to unlock this potential for all stakeholders,” said Moritz Maurer, CEO and founder of Grid. “This partnership aims to power a new chapter of League of Legends and Valorant esports with data, representing a remarkable milestone for all of us at Grid. I speak for the team in expressing our gratitude and excitement about the prospect of contributing to the future of sport at Riot Games with Grid’s technology.”
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The Grid Data Platform will begin hosting LoL esports and VCT data starting with the 2024-2025 season.
Strategic investment in Grid
To deepen this partnership, Riot acquired an equity stake in Grid. The publisher sees this as an investment in the future of esports competitive data integrity.
“At Riot, we believe in putting player experience first and have found a great partner in Grid that will help us unlock the vast potential of data to the long-term benefit of our pro esports teams and the broader Riot Esports community. The team behind the Grid Data Platform is as passionate about data as they are about esports, and we share the same values,” said Doug Watson, head of business strategy, global esports at Riot Games. Through our partnership, we can grow the presence of official esports data in Riot’s ecosystem and the industry, enabling growth, innovation, and more entertainment value for the fans.”
Grid is carving out a niche as the preferred data provider for publishers. Earlier this month, the company signed a similar multi-year strategic partnership with Ubisoft for Rainbow Six: Siege. Though, this did not include an investment. Additionally, Grid works with Krafton and third-party tournament organizers for Valve’s Counter-Strike and Dota 2 ecosystems. With Riot on board, Grid works with nearly all of the highest profile esports (outside of mobile titles).
Until now, Grid was an external provider that was independent from these publishers. Despite the equity stake, the company does not expect any chance in day-to-day operations. “Riot’s stake is non informed/non voting but represents their confidence in Grid’s future and our shared interest in growing this space in a healthy, meaningful way,” a Grid spokesperson told GamesBeat.
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