Sources: Riot Games is in Early Discussions With Brands to Sponsor Valorant Esports

Riot Games is in discussions with brands about becoming the first sponsors of Valorant Esports, people familiar with the situation tell Sports Business Journal, as it works to set up its new First Strike tournament.

Valorant is the new first-person shooter game from Riot that debuted this year, as the video game maker embarked in 2020 on launching a suite of different titles. This comes after spending the initial decade of its history solely focused on building League of Legends.

Riot has yet to turn Valorant into any formal franchised league as it is initially working to build up the scene around the game more organically, but it is now producing its first major esports tournament for it called First Strike.

First Strike will be an eight-region tournament that will start with qualifiers and end with regional finals in December. Riot just announced this week that it is working with Nerd Street Gamers and Engine Media to stage the qualifiers in North America; NSG already staged multiple Ignition Series Valorant tournaments earlier.

Now, as Riot sets up First Strike, sources say that executives are in discussions with prospective sponsors who want to get in on the ground level of Valorant to become the first partners associated with a growing game.

The brands Riot is talking to were unclear, but an industry source noted that Riot could of course reach out to existing sponsors of the North American League of Legends series, the LCS, which has partners including Honda, State Farm, and Alienware.

The source added that categories that would make sense for Riot’s first FPS offering include QSR, soft drink, snacks, mobile, and the endemics like computer peripherals and internet service providers.

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