Who are Riot Games, the developers of Valorant?

If you play Valorant, you've probably heard of its developer and publisher: Riot Games. A mastodon of the online video game and esport scene, the company has been making millions of players around the world dream for almost fifteen years now. But who is it really? We take you on a tour of the company's achievements through this non-exhaustive presentation.

The origins of Riot Games

Founded in 2006 by Brandon Beck and Marc Merill, the company launched its first game in 2009. It is League of Legends, a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena). In this 5v5 game, each player plays a different character and must defend his base while trying to destroy his opponents' base. Very quickly, the MOBA genre became popular, until it became viral. Thousands of people play it and become passionate about this game which will become one of the pillars of esports in the world.

Old map of LoL
Old League of Legends map

For almost 10 years, League of Legends was the sole creation of Riot Games. The publisher will do everything in its power to make its game evolve and grow. Patches are regularly deployed to bring new content, fix bugs, balance champions, introduce new skins and sometimes new champions.

As MOBA is a competitive genre by nature, League of Legends tournaments are starting to spring up all over the world. Little by little, different leagues are set up in different regions of the world, each with its own national league, and the best teams meet every year for the ultimate event: the Worlds.

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of League of Legends

For over a decade, the world wondered why the company was called Riot Games and not Riot Game, since it only had one game. The answer came on the tenth anniversary of League of Legends. On this occasion, the company announced that they were working on completely different game projects than their MOBA.

A few months earlier, TeamFight Tactics, an auto chess game, had already been presented to the community and had been very well received. With theannouncement of new games and even a series based on League of Legends, Riot Games has piqued the interest of its players.

The company announced the arrival of League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics on mobile. It also unveils several projects in production:

  • Project A, which will later become Valorant
  • Project F, a MMO or hack'n'slash
  • Legends of Runeterra, a card game
  • Project L, a fighting game
  • Arcane, an animated series in the League of Legends universe
Different Riot games

Thus was born Valorant

VALORANT was officially released on 2nd June 2020 although thousands of players had early access to the game through a beta. After League of Legends, it is now Riot Games' second most popular and most watched game.

In almost two years, the FPS has evolved considerably. The developers are working hard to continually bring new content and agents to players, while doing their best to fix any bugs that may be found.

It is also a very dynamic and competitive game, played all over the world and with its own leagues and worlds, just like League of Legends.

Events around the world

Riot Games is not only about games, it is also about events and competitions. As mentioned above, League of Legends has become one of the pillars of esports and Valorant is slowly making its way into the scene.

In 2011, the first League of Legends World Championships were held, and they now take place every year at the end of the year to close out the game and competitive seasons. Each new edition is more impressive than the last, with the company deploying colossal resources to showcase its community. Augmented reality dragon, dancers and singers show, not to mention the traditional song composed each year for the occasion.

Dragon augmented reality LoL
Dragon in augmented reality at League of Legends Worlds 2017

The League of Legends Worlds attracts millions of viewers on Twitch, with some editions breaking audience records. In 2021, for example, over 4 million people watched Edward Gaming, the reigning world champions.

Across the world, Riot Games broadcasts matches from different competitive leagues, on different scales. Some are national, others international. There is something for everyone, from amateurs to professionals.

This pattern has been repeated on Valorant, and so there are different circuits for different regions of the world. Challengers are the leagues specific to each region and are currently divided into two segments. At the end of each segment, the best teams from these regions compete in international events called Masters. Finally, at the end of each competitive season, the Worlds take place and crown the best team in the world, just like with League of Legends.

These events are always an opportunity for Riot Games to give visibility to its games and players, as some events have been able to attract media attention.

Riot Games is therefore one of the best known companies in the esport world today. In almost fifteen years, it has made a name for itself in the industry and the competitive world owes it a lot. Every year they keep introducing new content for their games and try to improve them, and hopefully they will continue to do so for many years to come.