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Riot Reveals Initial VALORANT Esports Plans

Aaron Alford

Riots games released a press release on Wednesday, detailing their initial plans for the development of VALORANT’s esports scene. According to the release, Riot Games will not be using the same system they use for League of Legends, which is structured in similar fashion to traditional sports leagues with teams split into regions, a regular season, and ultimately a playoff. Instead Riot is looking for third party tournament organizations who will organize and run community tournaments. They will work with those organizations to sanction various official tournaments.


Every Agent has a unique set of abilities that can be used to dominate the enemy. (Photo courtesy Riot Games)

“We’re overwhelmed by the initial interest and excitement in VALORANT,” stated Riot’s Senior Director of Global Esports, Whalen Rozelle in Wednesday’s press release. “We have massive dreams for what this game can be as an esport, and we’re excited to embark on this long esports journey with our players. Our primary focus will be on forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organizers, and developers – unlocking them to help us to build the VALORANT ecosystem”

VALORANT will have three tiers of tournaments, with different qualifications and rules for each tier.

Small tournaments will be organized by players, PC Cafes, and community organizers. These amateur events will be local and will offer prize pools below $10,000 cash or below $12,000 in non-cash prizes. The goal of smaller events will be to provide a fun and social experience for players.

Medium tournaments will be organized by “middle-tier businesses and brands; esports organizations; [and] influencers.” The prize pool for medium sized tournaments will not exceed $50,000. The goal of these tournaments is to help esports brands and businesses grow and monetize. Although medium tournaments are more important than small tournaments, Riot’s contribution to these sorts of tournaments will be limited.

Major tournaments will be organized by major events organizers such as ESL, Dreamhack. Major’s will be global, significant tournaments. These tournaments will be part of the global competitive ecosystem and will in some cases be sanctioned by Riot Game’s. The organizers for these tournaments will be looking to monetize and grow their brand as well as contribute to the “global VALORANT esports ecosystem.”

Along with specifications for the various tournaments, Riot also released broadcasting rules. Among other rules, all tournaments will be played without the “Show Blood” option and organizers are responsible for preventing “vulgar” and “abusive” content in the stream chat.

All tournaments may use sponsors so long as they are not listed on Riot’s prohibited sponsor and advertisement list. The prohibited sponsor list includes a variety of services, including competing esports, Cryptocurrencies, and religious or political charities. For medium and major Tournaments, Riot Games may assist organizers in monetizing their tournaments.

VALORANT entered closed beta on April 7th and is set to launch sometime in the Summer of 2020.