Riot Esports President claims VCT will be profitable quicker than LCS
The inaugural season of the VALORANT partnership league is coming to a tantalising finish. With four teams left neck and neck to explode over the finish line, the league has harmonised in its efforts to make the VCT as the most competitive global esport in the world.
But given that the cold winds of the esports winter still howl, is the partnership model one that can be sustained and successful? And what time frame will Riot Games, organisations, and fans, be able to see the VCT become profitable?
Amid times when other franchised leagues like the OWL (Overwatch) and CDL (Call of Duty) are plummeting, Riot Games Esports President John Needham has now claimed that the VCT is on track for sustainability rather quickly, and will beat their previous eight-year time span to turn the LCS into a money-maker.
Riot Games Esports President says VCT sustainability 'is off to a great start'
In 2021, the LCS commissioner Chris Greeley told the Washington Post that the LCS had turned a profit for the first time, some eight years after it was formed.
But this timeline is expected to be much quicker for VALORANT, according to Riot Games, as Needham has claimed that there is already a great abscess for partnerships, media, and sponsorships which will help the VCT.
"With the LCS, we were just starting to learn how to sell sponsorships and do media and things like that. It took us a while to figure that out, longer than we expected," Needham said in a Press conference prior to the end-of-season Champions Playoffs.
"We built a good sponsorship business to get this point [for the LCS], and we had a great head start when we started thinking about VALORANT and how we pitch VALORANT to both endemic and non-endemic sponsors. The business of VALORANT is off to a great start," he added.
Riot Games Esports President says VCT will be profitable quicker than League of Legends
Needham joined Riot Games in 2017, four years after the LCS was formed, but four years before the LCS became profitable, and revealed that one major difference between League of Legends and VALORANT’s business model is the younger audience, as Riot has been actively working on appealing to these fans.
"The one thing we didn't really expect when we thought about VALORANT before it was out in the marketplace was how young the player base would be. So that has actually been a great asset for us in kind of building the business around VALORANT. It is hard to reach millennials, Gen Z’ers with a lot of traditional channels. They're just not there.
"So our esport provides a really efficient way to reach this super valuable audience. I'm very happy with where the business is of ance and we will get to sustainability quicker than we will with the LCS."
The VCT is not yet ready to make money, but with a great year of growth in the partnership leagues, the future looks bright for VALORANT esports.