thats if valve wants to sink so much $$ into LoL
the real reason LoL is so successful is riot sinks a lot of $$ into the esports scene, making it popular.
The amount of $$ Riot puts as tourney winnings is ridiculous
then again, when you're backed by a multi billion dollar chinese company, you can do it =D
you do realize sponsors pay for part of that... like Ben-Q and Intel.
every week they release either a skin or a new character. (not to mention IP boosts and character packs).
I would say easily 10% of the people buy skins. I couldn't guess if people buy characters with RP or Ip. they have a player base of soemthing like 20 milion people. if a fraction of those people make 1 transaction a month, riot makes a killing.
i don't think esports is what makes the game successful. i heard about it from a friend that was searching for free to play games. i play, like most, because it is fun, not because i want to go pro. i think what makes it really siccessful is the diversity of characters/roles and the fact it is free. you can spend as little as you want or as much as you want.