Riot Games granted Twitch personalities Tyler "Ninja" Bevins and Ali "Myth" Kabbani exclusive permission to co-stream the final leg of the Valorant: First Strike NA Tournament, and it did not have the reception they wanted.
With the finals of First Strike being the biggest event yet for the fledging esport, the decision was met with pushback from the community, specifically for the exclusivity of the deal.
Fans and casters alike voiced their concerns taking to the Valorant Competitive subreddit and Twitter, mostly on the lack of details the announcement entailed.
Counter-Strike ex-pro and Valorant streamer, Mohamad "m0E" Assad replied to the original tweet, questioning the effects of the deal to fellow streamers.
Wait does that mean others cant stream the tourney?— mOE (@m0E_tv) November 30, 2020
As many fans were vocal about their frustrations, the main issues circle around the fact no other personalities will be able to stream the tournament and, of course, the selection of Ninja and Myth as sole streamers.
A Reddit thread started by u/AnOldMonkOnDMT has become a battlefield of opinions, from complete nay-sayers to business-forward comments and replies.
While the decision seems to be final, fans have been naming replacements all around the web for the co-streaming of the event, especially asking for the Plat Chat crew, Matt "Mr.X" Morello, Joshua "Sideshow" Wilkinson, Jonathan "Reinforce" Larsson, and Brennon "Bren" Hook.
Plat Chat is a YouTube podcast dedicated to Valorant and esports in general and is in popular demand to be the replacement, if not, the next in line for a co-stream.
In defence of Riot's decision, Ninja still holds top billing in the streaming world, if only in name and not raw numbers, so it’s no surprise he was picked as an exclusive partner as he has been grinding the game on stream religiously. In regard to Myth, he has become TSM’s unofficial “coach” and cheerleader, co-streaming not just TSM's but many different teams Valorant matches. In doing so he has become a natural avenue for more casual viewers to enjoy Valorant’s esport offering.
The final leg of both the European and North America Valorant: First Strike kicks off on Thursday, 3rd December and will run until Sunday, 6th December.
Each regions tournament will see eight qualified teams battling it out for a top prize of $100,000 and regional bragging rights.