Valorant may still be in the closed beta phase, but Riot is already laying the groundwork for an esports scene – a scene that’s going to be handled through partnerships with external organisations and stakeholders. The company has provided some initial guidelines for tournament organisers, and provided a peek at how third-party competitions are going to be set up when Valorant officially launches.
Our sister site The Loadout reports on Riot’s recent press release, which provides a few details on a tiered system for third-party tournament organisation. “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,” says Whalen ‘Magus’ Rozelle, senior director of global esports at Riot. “Our primary focus early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organisers, and developers – unlocking them to help us to build the Valorant ecosystem.”
To that end, Riot is starting out Valorant’s esports approach with three tiers of competition. For small tournaments with prize pools of less than $10,000 USD (£8,000), Riot is putting those in the hands of player organisers, and they’ll be held in internet cafes and similar venues.
Competitions with prize pools of up to $50,000 (£40,000) are considered ‘medium’ tournaments, and those will be handled by esports organisations and influencers. Tournaments with larger prize pools will be considered large, and those will be handled by established tournament bodies such as ESL, DreamHack, and OGN in a global competition ecosystem.
Riot says it’s interested in creating an environment wherein aspiring pros have a chance to work their way into the elite ranks through merit-based competition. To do that, they’ll need to know all about the best Valorant guns.