Esports teams and tournament organizers are always looking for ways to increase revenue, especially during a time when the pandemic has significantly affected their financial stability. Recently, Turkish Esports news outlet Esporkolik reported that Riot Games, the company behind the popular game Valorant, would soon allow teams to have gambling sponsors. This report has since been refuted by Riot Games representatives, according to independent journalists Max Katz and George Geddes.
On March 15, Esporkolik reported that Valorant teams would soon be allowed to have gambling sponsors. This would provide teams struggling financially with another revenue stream. While other esports titles like CS:GO and DOTA 2 have had gambling sponsors for tournament organizers and some teams, Valorant currently prohibits such sponsorships, along with prescription drugs, guns, and alcohol, according to the VCT global rulebook.
Confusion Among Fans
The initial report caused confusion among fans, as even tournament organizers in the Valorant space are not allowed to have gambling sponsorships. However, Riot representatives have since refuted the report, saying there have been no changes to their sponsorship categories.
Riot Games and TSM
In the past, Riot Games partnered with now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange FTX for the LCS. At the time, Riot Games also allowed TSM, one of the LCS organizations, to do so, even though rules stated that organizations could not partner with unregulated financial institutions or markets. Since the collapse of FTX, TSM and Riot have tried to distance themselves from the defunct company.
No Official Statement Yet
Riot Games has not yet released a statement regarding the Esporkolik report. While the report created a buzz in the esports community, it appears that Valorant teams will not be allowed to have gambling sponsors in the future, as previously stated in the VCT global rulebook.
Esports fans can take comfort in knowing that their favorite games are promoting responsible sponsorships. Riot Games’ decision to prohibit gambling sponsors for Valorant teams ensures that the esports community remains safe and accessible to all players and fans.