Team Skins to appear on Valorant in 2024
In an interview with Sports Business JournalRiot Games has confirmed that the first team skins will arrive in 2024. This interview initially focused on the continuing partnership between Mastercard and Valorant esports (but more broadly Riot Games), but the subject drifted somewhat onto the monetisation methods and business models of Valorant as an esport.
Riot Games wants to include the professional teams that bring Valorant to life throughout the year in its funding, and that's where team skins come in. From now on, fans will be able to display their allegiance for all to see by sporting weapon skins bearing the effigy of their favourite teams. Revenues from the sale of such cosmetic items are then partly redistributed to the team corresponding.
After a number of rumours in 2022, the subject was discussed and semi-confirmed in early 2023 when Hikothe streamer for 100 Thieves, himself interviewed Riot Fariathe man at the head of Valorant's esport division, during a stream. The same Riot Faria confirmed that these skins should arrive at the beginning of next year and represent a very significant proportion of revenue, helping to stabilise the esports ecosystem. In League of Legends, items bearing the effigy of teams account for no less than 42 million in profitshalf of which has been paid back to the teams. Riot plans to extend this scheme to Valorant.
It is not yet known what form these skins will take, or even what types of teams will be affected by them. Will they be reserved for the teams that lift the Valorant Champions Cup? All VCT participants? The VCL? Depending on the scope of the scheme, we can speculate on the average quality of the skins that will be offered. If the skins are reserved for the champions, they will probably be very elaborate, but if a skin is needed for all the teams officially involved in Valorant, we can expect simple recolourings with a logo or lucky charm.
It's hard to say whether this business will be as lucrative on Valorant as it is on League of Legends, especially at launch. Where League of Legends personifies its iconic players in champion skins, it's much more complicated to transpose this attachment to a weapon skin. Nevertheless, we hope that see a Mandatory hammer appear one day as a knife!
In any case, these statements come at a time when the esport bubble seems to be bursting across the Atlantic. The historic American teams all seem to be in great financial difficulty, having grossly overestimated their value. A crisis of confidence and sponsorship has been created, sharply reducing these teams' revenues. The Youtubeur Disguised Toastwho recently started managing an esport team, talked about all the setbacks he has suffered in a very short space of time and why sponsors no longer want to work in this field.
Combined with the tensions between Riot Games and the American teams, which have declared a match strikeThe interview with Sports Business Journal seems to be a way of reaffirming Mastercard's sponsorship and reassuring the Valorant teams.