Olivia R. March 25, 2020
Riot Games and its co-founders have donated $1.5 million to aid coronavirus relief efforts.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Los Angeles’ mayor Eric Garcetti announced that the game developer donated $500,000 to local foundations, while co-founders Brandon Beck and Marc Merill will donate $500,000 each.
Of that impressive total, $400,000 will go to the Los Angeles Food Bank, an organization that Riot has held fundraisers for in the past. Another $200,000 is going to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, helping residents by supplementing costs of health care, childcare, and senior meals. It also provides grants to low-income or unemployed residents in need of financial assistance. The remaining funds will be distributed to various Los Angeles county nonprofits.
“We are blessed here in L.A. to have industries that not only fuel our city but our country and our world’s economy. Gaming is one of those industries and one of the leaders in that space is Riot Games,” Garcetti said.
He then joked that many citizens have probably been playing League of Legends while “being at home.”
Riot Games had also informed the mayor that they will be aiding the city in finding medical gear for Los Angeles’ hospital staff. This includes face masks to “protect our front-line doctors and nurses.”
The mayor then noted that Riot’s staff are now working remote, but they will be keeping their full-time janitorial staff, facilities staff, and food workforce.
“Knowing this is a moment of strain for working families across our region, Riot Games is committed to doing right by its workforce,” Garcetti said.
Riot Games stated that they would “continue to evaluate” various ways they can help during this gobal crisis.
“Los Angeles has always been Riot’s home and Angelenos are an irreplaceable part of our success. We’re proud to be able to give back to our community in this difficult time,” Riot Games said.
The big $1.5 million donation is the largest yet from the esports community. But teams, players, and streamers have been doing their part to support the cause as well. Sang-hyeok “Faker” Lee and a few other South Korean players have donated to charities that support coronavirus aid. Team Liquid is currently hosting a week-long charity stream and many of their content creators and players have hosted their own throughout the past few weeks. Dota 2 tournament organizer WePlay! hosted a charity event earlier this month.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the esports industry, with almost every live tournament or event set for the immediate future being canceled. Remaining tournaments, like the LCS and LEC, are being played online.