Riot appears to be taking a more patient approach to VALORANT’s esports scene.
The company shared its initial thoughts on its esports ecosystem, which will center around three core pillars—competitive integrity, accessibility, and authenticity, according to ESPN. In order to not force an esports scene too early, Riot is “forming partnerships” with third-party organizers, players, and content creators to build the ecosystem.
“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,” Riot senior director of global esports Whalen Rozelle said. “Our primary focus early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organizers and developers—unlocking them to help us to build the VALORANT ecosystem.”
Riot has established three different tiers of tournaments, according to Launcher. Small tournaments played in PC cafes will be at a limited scale, unable to exceed a $10,000 prize pool. Medium events for middle-tier businesses and brands, as well as esports organizations and influencers, can’t exceed $50,000. And major tournaments will be saved for top tier esports event organizers, like Dreamhack and ESL.
VALORANT is already making waves in the gaming scene, helping Twitch shatter viewership records in its first week. With 148.7 million hours watched in its first seven days, the game has eclipsed records set by games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and League of Legends.
Fans who still haven’t gotten access to the closed beta can now tune in to any VALORANT stream for a chance at landing a drop.