The Shopify Rebellion organization, just weeks after scooping up the released Luminosity Gaming roster, announced today that Riot Games has informed the organization they will not be participating in the 2023 VALORANT Champions Tour as a partner.
Rebellion received word from Riot today that they “would not be moving forward” with Shopify Rebellion competing “in the VALORANT partnership program.” The organization, which also operates a women’s roster widely considered the second best in North America behind C9 White, expressed their disappointment in a statement today, referring to the partnership application as a “popularity contest for a woefully small number of teams.”
In their statement, Shopify Rebellion called upon Riot to “find meaningful ways to support the broader ecosystem— too many incredible players, creators and talent…deserve it.” In their closing remarks, the organization said they will continue to support their teams and players as they always have, but also stated they would “share more about out our future in VALORANT later this summer.”
Shopify Rebellion themselves picked up a roster from an organization that left VALORANT, following Luminosity’s decision to exit the scene and make their competitive roster available. Shopify Rebellion acquired the roster at the end of June, who will compete in the NA VCT Last Chance Qualifier set for August with a single spot at VCT Champions 2022 on the line.
Shopify Rebellion’s update comes the same day the SoaR organization, who’s fielded VCT talent like Brenden “stellar” McGrath and Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban in the past, announced that they too were exiting competitive VALORANT, citing the upcoming franchising/partnership model’s likely debilitating effect on the tier two scene. Organizations like Dignitas, Rise, beastcoast, and others have also exited over the past year.
As Riot begins to reduce the number of applicants down to the reported eight or ten teams they seek for their Americas league, more organizations will likely have to make a tough decision about their future in VALORANT in the near future. Shopify Rebellion is the first organization with a team still competing in VCT to make this announcement.