Is Toast serious about making a VALORANT team? The success of influencer-made teams suggests he should be

Toast Esports?

It appears that tier-one partnered teams and potential tier-two Challengers teams aren’t the only ones interested in the wealth of pro VALORANT talent currently available before VCT 2023.

One of Twitch’s most popular streaming stars, DisguisedToast, has said that he’s “thinking of starting a team” from the “best available unsigned pro VALORANT player[s].” Several prominent NA pros from the past couple of years hopped into the replies, including Michael “dapr” Gulino, Matthew “Wedid” Suchan, Sam “s0m” Oh, and Alex “aproto” Protopapas, among others.

Anyone who watches Toast’s content will know that the OfflineTV member loves to joke around and mess with people. Fellow OTV member Scarra even replied that Toast “might be serious.” He could be baiting or just recruiting players for a one-off VALORANT event.

But if Toast is on the fence about actually putting together a competitive team, he can easily follow the path set by other streamers and content creators who have done the same.

One of the most prominent recent examples is Moist Esports, a competitive organization founded by massive content creator MoistCr1TiKaL. The team competes in fighting games, Apex Legends, and Splitgate, and its Rocket League team even won a Major and competed at the world championship this year. Moist’s quarterfinal match at the world championship has the highest peak viewership of any Rocket League match in history.

The personal investment of popular content creators or streamers brings a whole wave of viewers to any event, attracting viewers who may not be dedicated fans of the game but are dedicated fans of the creator. But the financial investment is a drawback to consider. Just this past month, Cr1TiKaL revealed that he runs Moist at “a massive net loss” of over six figures a month. He says this is “fine” since he uses his entire Twitch paycheck to help the organization grow, and he says he’s so passionate about the project that he doesn’t mind running the org at a loss forever if he has to.

But organizations don’t have to be passion projects operated at a loss. Some of the biggest organizations in all of esports were founded by people who either were content creators themselves or heavily prioritized content: 100 Thieves, FaZe, and OpTic, just to name a few. These are ambitious names to try to follow but not completely out of the realm for the likes of Toast or even OTV as a whole.

At the end of the day, this could all be for nothing if Toast is just messing around. But VALORANT might be one of the best ecosystems for a content creator-backed team to make a splash in. There’s a massive amount of available talent, co-streams have proven to be incredible for views, and there’s a clear path to reaching the top tier through the tier-two ecosystem beginning in 2023. Making it to the top tier even guarantees a stipend for at least two years.

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