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Riot Games announces first plans for Valorant esports

Riot Games has announced the first details of Valorant’s esports plans, revealing how they’ve met with over 100 organisations to share their vision.
Riot Games has revealed the first details of its esports plans for Valorant. 

The developer’s 5v5 tactical shooter is currently in a closed beta, with the title set for a full release in summer 2020. 

Valorant has already generated a huge amount of interest from pro players, with many switching their attention to the title, and now Riot has outlined some of the core principles behind its esports strategy. 

While incredibly vague, their plans are described as revolving around three core pillars; namely competitive integrity, accessibility and authenticity. 

Valorant
Valorant is a huge success already on Twitch (Picture: Riot Games)

It’s hoped this will guide the growth of the esport so aspiring pro players can have a shot at the highest level of play, in what’s described as a “merit-based competition”. 

Riot has also released Valorant Community Competition Guidelines designed to assist third party organisers to create events for an amateur scene where young players can rise through the ranks. 

The community competition guidelines consist of three tiers for events, split between small tournaments, medium tournaments and major tournaments. 

For small events, prize pools cannot exceed $10,000, medium events are capped at $50,000, while major events are classified as official semi-pro events in partnership with big brand organisers like ESL and DreamHack. 

Led by Riot’s senior director of global esports, Whalen Rozelle, the Valorant esports branch has also met with over 100 esports organisations to share their vision and collect feedback. 

Speaking about their plans, Rozelle said: “We’re overwhelmed by the initial interest and excitement in Valorant. 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 early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organisers, and developers - unlocking them to help us to build the Valorant ecosystem.”

With Riot having grown one of the biggest esports on the planet in League of Legends, expectations for Valorant's competitive circuit are overwhelmingly high - although we'll have to see whether they can have similar success in the FPS space.

Valorant has had a great start however with its closed beta, which has broken viewing records on Twitch.