This is the first installment of George Geddes rumor column for Dot Esports, a weekly article series that will cover the VALORANT gossip of the week.
The rumor mill seems to never stop churning in VALORANT despite rostermania being over for the past few weeks.
The future of VALORANT esports seems bright, with high viewership for Challengers, a planned expansion to China following the games approval by the country’s video game regulatory body, and the largest international tournament to date set to begin in a few days.
Yet there are details that go amiss or slip through the cracks. Here’s some of the latest gossip in the VALORANT scene.
Riot Games is looking to expand into the Chinese market for VALORANT. The global head of VALORANT esports Leo Faria made that clear when he held an exclusive meeting between Chinese organizations and Riot.
The extent of the relationship between Riot and Chinese-based organizations goes a lot deeper than just a surface-level agreement for a VALORANT league, however.
In 2011, a majority stake in Riot was purchased by Chinese conglomerate Tencent and was later finalized in 2015 to grant Tencent full ownership of the company.
So the developers of VALORANT are owned by a Chinese company. It makes sense that the company would develop a league based in China to further grow the game it owns to the regional audience and directly make a profit from it.
News of a VALORANT league in China came days after a meeting was held between Chinese organizations and Riot on Feb. 3. Bloomberg reported that a Chinese VALORANT league could come as soon as this summer.
Its unlikely that the Chinese league will be incorporated into the worldwide international or challengers league system, though, since China approved VALORANT in the country just a few months ago. Thats not to say they wont get a shot at Masters or Champions, but a pathway will likely be available for teams to earn a spot since Riot is trying to push Chinese teams into the global system as much as possible.
I suspect the system will be distinct from the regular challengers and international leagues weve got so far.
Former 100 Thieves in-game leader Adam ec1s Eccles has played at the highest level of competition in North America and Europe. But his stellar record has dwindled as of late. Hes moved to the second tier of European competition with Human Tripwires in the VALORANT Challengers League Polaris. His team sits in dead last with one win and five losses.
But theres a bit of redemption for ec1s, at least. Indian-based outlet Owl Drone Media reported that ec1s and former Fnatic player Domagoj doma Fancev are set to join Velocity Gaming, an Indian team that is set to compete in the upcoming South Asia Challengers league.
While ec1s has signed with Velocity Gaming, doma is yet to put pen to paper, sources told Dot Esports. One thing is for certain: we get to see ec1s back in action for a chance at redemption.
Once its official, itll probably be easier to name a region ec1s hasnt played in.