Valorant Team skins in preparation
In a recent interview, Leo Faria, Global Head of Valorant Esports, discussed the sources of revenue for franchised teams. In his words, skins and other team content are part of the funding methods planned by Riot Games.
Team skins under consideration
Recently, the streamer Hiko, a former player for 100Thieves, organised a podcast with other personalities of the Valorant scene, such as Steel or Sean Gares. During the just over three hours of conversations, they had the opportunity to exchange with several guests, including Disguised Toast. With the latter, they discussed a topical issue in the esport field: funding of teams.
This theme came back to the centre of the discussion later on, when Hiko and Slasher were able to interview Leo Faria, the person in charge of esports on Valorant. To the question " Does Riot have any plans to include things such as teams skins or guns skins with the names of the organisations, more than just the Champions Bundle at the end of the year? Would it be more ways for organisations and players to monetize through the game itself?", he simply replied "The short answer is yes. The slightly longer answer is yes."
The team skins should therefore to come into being during this VCT 2023, something that will delight fans around the world. However, we have no information regarding the release date or the form that this specific in-game content will take, as it is still in preparation.
Given the number of teams, 30 in total, it is easy to imagine the studio turning to a unique 3D model; this will be the basis for the texture variations for each team. The designers could, for example, take inspiration from the work done on Ace team skins, by changing the visuals to logos and the colours to those of the structures.
Several funding methods
The Riot Games employee then went into more detail regarding the funding of the organisations. The studio supports the franchise structures in several distinct ways.
The first is none other than an allowance paid to all teams selected for the 2023 VCT. In this way, the structures have a fixed minimum income, the amount of which is known. It is not dependent on performance during the competition. Of course, cash prizes are still a source of significant earnings. In 2022, the winners of the Copenhagen Masters won 200,000$.
With the establishment of the Leagues, three cities were chosen to host the weekly events and the public, namely Berlin, Seoul and Los Angeles. The VCT regulations require that the teams be available in these partner cities. However, such a large move can be very expensive. To overcome this problem, Riot Games has provided help with moving to the teams that needed it.
In addition, there are "a part of the income generated from the goodies in Valorant". Here, Leo Faria essentially refers to the Valorant Champions skins collections. For two years now, it has been possible to buy cosmetics in the colours of the Valorant final tournament. Last year, this simple bundle raised over $16 million, of which 50% was redistributed to the sixteen qualifying teams. A new bundle will therefore be released in 2023.
Games such as Rainbow Six Siege, Counter Strike, and even League of Legends, have team skins, but not Valorant. As mentioned above, they will be appearing soon. The head of Valorant's Esports division has indicated that this will be a method of providing funds to the VCT 2023 teams. This in-game content will provide income for teams, who will be able to have the support of their respective communities.
In order to pocket some extra cash, partner teams are also invited to develop the esport and Valorant scene with Riot. A certain amount of money is given to those who organize IRL watch parties or offer content around FPS merchandise for example. In other words, they are encouraged to create content with and for the Valorant community.
It appears that the structures of the VCT 2023, and future editions, will have several ways to face the costs linked to their participation at this level of competition. While waiting to see the first team skins, you can soon enjoy Luna cosmetics, designed for the Lunar New Year.