Over 150 organizations have submitted proposals to Riot Games for a chance to enter into a partnership with the company for the VALORANT league next year, according to a source with knowledge of the process.
Just over 200 organizations expressed preliminary interest but some failed to follow up with additional information to support their application. With the over 150 that remain, though, only a small number of teams will secure a partnership with Riot.
There were more applications for the North American VALORANT league next year than for the 2018 NA LCS, which introduced franchising for North American League of Legends, according to the source.
The NA LCS had a buy-in fee of $10 million for selected teams, but teams will not have to fork out millions this time around. The VALORANT partnered league will not have a buy-in fee and allowed almost all organizations to submit an application, while some did not follow through in the early stages.
A maximum of 10 teams are set to compete in the North American, Brazilian, and Latin America franchised league, which will begin early next year, as reported by Dot Esports on May 26. This number is not final and could change, however.
Teams such as Sentinels, Cloud9, 100 Thieves, Version1, TSM, T1, CLG, Shopify Rebellion, The Guard, OpTic Gaming, XSET, and more have either made their applications public or privately. Teams are under no obligation to make their applications public.
Organizations were also told they could apply for a secondary region if necessary, according to multiple sources. G2 Esports, for example, has applied for both the EMEA league and the Americas league, according to sources.
The VALORANT league’s initial response has been met with criticism and support. Riot removed the typical buy-in fee, which has been used in formal franchised leagues like the LCS and LEC in League, VALORANT’s sister esport. But some organizations and players have feared they may not get a chance at tier-one competition with the limited number of slots available.
Teams will be informed if they are accepted into the league around Champions in September.
Correction June 22 3:38pm CT: This article initially reported that over 150 applications had been submitted to enter the North American VALORANT league. This figure represents the number of applications submitted globally, not just in North America. We regret this error.