Riot Games’ Kasra Jafroodi sees an opportunity in Valorant to “create a sport from scratch” with a “blank page,” and today, he sat with Sports Business Daily’s Andrew Levin to begin filling in that canvas.
He said Valorant was born out of developers at Riot recognizing “a lot of innovation missing in the shooter space.” Jafroodi explained, “It differentiates itself already from a lot of shooters out there by having agents with abilities, where as a player, it’s not just about being really mechanically good and being able to essentially shoot people.”
Jafroodi — who leads global esports for Valorant — called it the “million-dollar question” when asked whether the game eventually will transition to a franchise-based model. He said, “We’re exploring different formats that could formalize the sport a little bit more. I think, ultimately, we have to ensure that, if we want to take a step toward a formal structure that involves some sort of partnership with teams, that the sport is ready for it.”
On what determinants Riot will be eyeing: “We’re looking at maturity in the market. Who are the teams in that market? What does the sustainability look like? How many brands are getting involved? Do we feel like we can create a sport that can be profitable for everyone involved? And then, what are fans looking for?”
Still, Jafroodi stressed, “I don’t know if we’ll be going to franchises,” adding, “We’re essentially considering every model that other sports have done in the past.” Valorant will utilize a tournament-based format for competition in 2021.
For more insights from Jafroodi on Valorant, check out the latest “SBJ Unpacks: The Road Ahead.”
Published at Fri, 04 Dec 2020 21:00:39 +0000
After two of its players were diagnosed with COVID-19, Vorax Fusion, the Valorant team of Brazilian organization Vorax, has lost its spot at the First Stike tournament. Both Vorax and Riot Games issued public statements clarifying the situation, agreeing that the disqualification was the best decision for safety reasons.
As the tournament is to be attended in-person by the teams, rigorous safety measures and constant COVID-19 testing are part of the protocol of the competition. On Nov. 30, player Leonardo “fzkk” Puertas tested positive and was isolated. At the time Vorax Fusion still planned to compete on First Strike, but the diagnosis of a second player, Hiago “delevingne” Baldi on Dec. 03 created a red alert for the team.
Riot Games issued a statement saying that “the organization of the event understands that the positive diagnosis of another player from the examined roster, having previously received a negative diagnosis, represents a greater risk for the presence of the rest of the group in the studio. Riot Games contacted Vorax Fusion, which understood and respected the company’s decision, in order to maintain the safety of everyone involved.”
Vorax, on its Twitter, stated that “we understand that the participation on an in-person event might lead to new cases, all that we want to avoid. Although it is a frustrating decision, we believe it is correct to keep us apart of the in-person Valorant tournament, the First Strike.”
Riot Games also shows confidence in the safety protocol of its event, and despite audience requests for letting Vorax Fusion play from home, “the company understands that each region has different health situations and has autonomy for decisions related to First Strike. For the tournament in Brazil, the dispute was scheduled in person, in order to maintain the competitive integrity of the event. This rule was shared with all organizations at the time of their qualification for First Strike and duly followed by them.”
With this decision, the team Havan Liberty, which would face Vorax Fusion on the event, is automatically qualified for the next stage of the tournament.
Published at Fri, 04 Dec 2020 19:59:13 +0000