The stage at 2023 VALORANT Champions.
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff via Riot Games

Elon Musk makes surprise VALORANT Champions appearance, but the crowd wasn’t pleased

One collective boo.

As the first major VALORANT esports event in the U.S., VCT Champions 2023 saw plenty of big names show up, from non-competing pro players to streamers to mainstream celebrities—but not all of them received a warm welcome.

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In the crowd for the Aug. 26 grand final was Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk, and the VCT broadcast was quick to find him among other big names at the KIA Forum. As soon as the camera was on Musk, however, the crowd expressed how they truly felt about him.

Though Musk was barely visible on the dark camera shot, the audience quickly joined in to jeer him with a chorus of boos. With Evil Geniuses putting up a winning performance for North America, it was likely the most negative collective sentiment the crowd had expressed all day.

Related: Villains to champions: Evil Geniuses complete meteoric VALORANT rise with VCT Champions win

Caster Lauren “Pansy” Scott couldn’t help but remark on the moment, asking if the loud cacophony from the crowd was even “a bigger reaction than TenZ got.” Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, a professional player for Sentinels, was also in the crowd and was featured on the broadcast, but was met with a much more positive reaction. Other signs and people were also featured during game pauses and in between rounds, though no reaction was quite as decisive as the jeers for Musk.

Once the next round of the game began, where EG had the lead over Singapore’s Paper Rex, the audience came together to offer Musk another round of jeers, this time directly related to his rebranding of Twitter to X. “Bring back Twitter!” chanted the crowd over the sounds of the game.

Twitter has long been a space where esports and gaming thrive. The centralized yet individualistic aspects of the platform offer a perfect place for people to gather. The VCT even features tweets on their official broadcast during breaks and technical pauses.

Though with Musk’s rebranding, longtime users and esports community members are losing the Twitter they once knew and loved. Hence, the jeers for Musk continued.

Musk was also spotted outside the arena in the leadup to the final, as spotted by FaZe Clan’s Andrej “babybay” Francisty. Famed actor Ben Affleck also showed up with his kids to get a glimpse of the action and pick up some sweet merch.

It’s been an incredible weekend in Los Angeles, where the 2023 VALORANT Champions Tour season came to a close with EG rising to become the VCT 2023 world champions.


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Author
Nadine Manske
Nadine is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She covers VALORANT and Overwatch with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region and marginalized genders in esports. Before joining Dot Esports as a freelance writer, she interned at Gen.G Esports and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her favorite Pokémon is Quagsire.