Caps, member of Team G2 Esports, celebrates with his MVP (Most Valuable Player) shield after winning the League of Legends (LOL) Mid-Season Invitational over team Liquid, in Taipei
INTERNATIONAL - Tencent Holdings’s Riot Games said yesterday that Nielsen Holdings would measure the value of sponsoring Riot’s League of Legends, the most-watched e-sport in the world, throughout next year. 

Quantifying the value of brand exposure gained through sponsorships of League of Legends teams, games and leagues could help the multiplayer online battlefield game, abbreviated as LoL, draw more sponsors. 

While other publishers have also worked with Nielsen on sponsorship measurement, fans have watched more LoL matches than any other game, totalling 347.4 million live hours in 2018 on Twitch and YouTube Gaming, said gaming analytics firm Newzoo. LoL has 13 regional leagues with more than 800 players on 100 professional teams globally. 

The game has drawn big companies - even those not endemic to the e-sports universe - including State Farm, Mastercard and Nike. E-sports - where throngs of fans watch competitive professional video-game matches live and online - has become an important funnel for brands to reach younger, more affluent and digitally savvy audiences who watch less television. 

“As e-sports continues to gain momentum with brand marketers and advertisers, the need for independent, third-party verification of audiences and brand exposure is crucial,” Nicole Pike, managing director of Nielsen E-sports, said in a statement.