The 2023 Valorant Champions Tour partnership application appears to have been quite the mad dash so far, with teams doing everything they can to woo developer Riot Games into accepting them into the fold for the fast-growing esports’ next phase – a closed league structure which seeks to provide stability heading forward.
According to a new report from the Washington Post’s Mikhail Klimentov, success isn’t the only metric by which Riot has been measuring the initial 150+ applicants, with a number of teams hoping to get into the Americas league – one of three international leagues alongside Europe and Asia – also being judged on things like financial security and star power.
As Klimentov notes, Americas league hopefuls have enlisted all sorts of tactics in order to curry Riot’s favour. Team SoloMid has used franchise player Yassine ‘Subroza’ Taoufik to rally fans to “show your voice”. Meanwhile, The Guard, which is owned by Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, lit up Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium – home of the KSE-owned LA Rams – with both the team’s and the game’s logos.
Speaking to WaPo, senior VP of esports Alex Rubens shares his hopes that Riot will consider both the SoFi Stadium as well as the nearby YouTube theatre as event hotspots should the VCT roll into the city.
Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses chief executive Nicole LaPointe Jameson talks about the “super fun” interactive website the organisation used to help pitch itself to Riot. “Maybe we’ll share it if we get in later, and remove some of the secret sauce”, she says.
Klimentov’s extensive report also features words from the likes of Luminosity Gaming head Alex Gonzalez, 100 Thieves president and COO John Robinson, and Version1 director of esports strategy and general manager Jake ‘REPPIN’ Trobaugh.
Regardless of which teams make the cut for VCT 2023, it’s heartening to see the extent to which they’ve clearly bought into the product.