Riot Games has revealed its early focus for VALORANT esports will be on helping third-party event organizers set up tournaments, pushing off the prospect of a fully fleshed, franchised league for further in the future.
The company entered the new five-on-five, PC-based tactical shooter into closed beta last week, and it will launch globally this summer.
Riot says that initially, its esports focus for the free-to-play game will be to work with low-, mid- and high-level tournament organizers to build the competitive gaming scene naturally. The company met with more than 100 teams across esports in recent months to give them an early look at its plans for the game.
As part of releasing its agenda for VALORANT esports, Riot has laid out the guidelines by which tournament organizers need to follow. Those touch on everything from sponsorship restrictions to turning off the game’s blood/gore graphics during tournaments.
Some teams including 100 Thieves have already started setting up and running such tournaments.
“We’re overwhelmed by the initial interest and excitement in VALORANT,” Whalen Rozelle, Riot’s senior director of global esports, wrote in a prepared statement. “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.”
While Riot is not making public any thoughts on future plans for an esports league yet, some in the industry are predicting that the company will eventually pursue one if it sees success in the first year or two of VALORANT. With the recent announcement the League of Legends Championship Korea (LCK) is moving to a franchised model, all four of League of Legends’ most prominent regional series all follow that structure.
VALORANT got off to a quick start with Twitch viewership last week when it garnered 1.7M concurrent viewers on the first day of the closed beta private test.
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