Riot Korea under fire for copyright striking LCK YouTube content

Olivia Richman • February 28, 18:32

The League of Legends community is frustrated with Riot Korea for how restrictive the company officials are being with LCK content. 

Before the 2021 season, the LCK announced that it “couldn’t reach a broadcasting rights agreement” with YouTube, meaning the matches would only be available for viewing on Twitch for English-language viewers. Many fans were frustrated with their lack of viewing options and pointed out how LCK’s Twitch viewership hasn’t increased thus far in 2021, meaning they lost their YouTube viewership and some of their fans. 

While this was already frustrating enough for some League of Legends viewers, the community got heated when they saw that Riot Korea was also copyright striking LCK content all across YouTube. This included highlights, VODs, and any other content that was related to the LCK matches. 

This affected many well-known YouTubers in the League of Legends content creation community. Kaza LoL, Onivia, and other YouTubers were unable to continue sharing highlight videos, something they had done for years before LCK’s decision to abandon YouTube. In a YouTube community post, Kaza LoL said that LCK issued that he take down all of his LCK-related content. If he agreed to do so, Riot Korea would “cease with the copyright takedowns” on his channel. 

“This does of course mean that I can no longer upload matches from LCK. The other league highlights will continue as normal,” he said. 

Onivia, who has over 320,000 subscribers, told fans that LCK videos would now have to feature his face to avoid Riot Korea’s strikes. He instructed fans to watch the matches on LCK’s official channel if they want to see highlights without his face in the video. 

EpicSkillshot, who has 535,000 subscribers, almost had their YouTube account removed entirely. That would have meant over eight years of competitive footage lost. The YouTuber told fans in their community post that they came to an agreement with Riot Korea, which included never sharing any LCK footage again. 

Riot Korea YouTube strike

Many League of Legends fans stated on a Reddit forum that they refused to watch LCK on Twitch due to the platform’s interface problems and stream lag. Many viewers who prefer YouTube have become frustrated with the ongoing situation since they don’t want to deal with Twitch at all. Others pointed out that Twitch also doesn’t have a rewind or fast forward feature, something that made YouTube their platform of choice for watching LCK matches. 

For now, LCK fans are assuming Riot Korea is trying to push people to view their LCK Global highlights videos. It’s been out for years but barely getting attention, which has fans speculating that Riot Korea is “getting desperate.” 

Riot hasn’t issued any official statements on this ongoing situation. 

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