Riot Games outlines rules for Valorant esports competition including a ‘no blood’ toggle

Shooting digital faces for cash is fine, so long as they explode in hit sparks

    
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With Valorant all over the gaming news recently and in the minds of a fair few (judging by the number of people watching streams for a beta key), the prospect of the shooter becoming another esports darling has likely crossed some minds. It certainly has crossed Riot Games’, as they have put out some guidelines for anyone that wishes to run esports tourneys using the game, which include, among other things, a “no blood” rule for every tournament.

Under the broadcasting section for each size of tournament, whether those tournaments are run by smaller PC cafes or major esports organizers like ESL and Dreamhack, the “Show Blood” toggle must be turned off in order to gain Riot’s blessing. There are a number of other guidelines as well, including caps on cash prize pools — $10,000 maximum for small events, and $50,000 for medium events, which are classed as those run by “middle-tier businesses and brands,” esports orgs, and influencers.

What does this effectively mean for official Valorant esports? According to senior director of global esports Whalen Rozelle, the focus is mostly on supporting third-party organizers instead of building a league around the FPS.

“As part of our Authenticity principle, we want to let Valorant grow naturally; we’re not looking to force anything too quickly without knowing what’s best for esports fans. As such, a primary focus early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organizers, and developers—unlocking them to help us to build this ecosystem.”

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Jack Pipsam

So it’s the China-button.

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Greaterdivinity

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-15/bloody-imagery-cut-from-esports-game-to-keep-it-sponsor-friendly

“Ultimately, we want our esport to be as accessible as possible, and that includes ensuring it is also as wide-reaching as possible,” Whalen Rozelle, Riot’s senior director of esports told Bloomberg. “By turning off blood, we allow more sponsors and distributors to join the ecosystem, ultimately creating more accessibility and stability for everyone.”

It’s an advertiser/sponsor button, considering sponsors are going to be one of the big ways that they generate revenue since they’re not running the whole show.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

Yes, but its also a China button for sure. China is one of the biggest markets for their main game, and they wouldn’t want one of their new games with most potential to be ruled off from that country. After all, even PUBG had to remove blood (and be released under a different name) to be accepted by them.

Its not a bad thing to make this an option though. If you’re playing from your home and want to see blood on your matches, you’ll be able to anyway.

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Grave Knight

Than why even have the option for blood?

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Bruno Brito

Now all i need is a “no harassment” toggle on Riot offices, and i’ll go back to play their games.

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Jarette Domongatt

“No Blood” is an indication that Valorant is catered towards Chinese Market.

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Greaterdivinity

And more broadly appealing to various sponsors and broadcast channels.

Are we really missing out on anything by there not being blood, though?

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Utakata

…flesh wounds? o.O

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Loopy

Overwatch doesn’t have blood either, but i don’t think anyone actually notices this.

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Loopy

I’ll be honest – i’ve watched a ton of streamers playing Valorant, and i’m having a really hard time finding the appeal. Super short rounds with too much waiting for my taste. It’s clearly in the same space as Counter Strike, but it just feels extremely gimmicky.

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Greaterdivinity

NO BLOOD TOGGLE?! THE PEA SEA “ESS JAY DUBYAS” STRIKE AGAIN!

It’s interesting to see them going the polar opposite direction of Blizzard with this. I imagine they learned a lot from their experiences running LoL tournaments and figure if they can push costs off to third party they’re limiting their risk. Limiting returns too, we’ve seen how much those OW franchises go for, but limiting risk which is a big thing.

I actually quite like this. I’ve always preferred the “organic” esports scene/approach. Riot is more than big enough to force it if they wanted like Blizzard did with OW, and like OW there’s already a strong demand for it, but we’ve seen tons of developers try to force esports on games when the community wasn’t really feeling it and ended up blowing tons of money and time (looking at you GW2 and PS2…)