Valorant Team’s Crazy Match-Winning Voice Comms Blows Up Twitter (& Your Headphones)


Popping off.

Published on January 23, 2023

While the debut season of Valorant’s anticipated franchised league is yet to kick off, the Tier 2 scene is already underway and producing some memorable moments. That includes the climax of the North American Last Chance Qualifier for Challengers Split, which concluded over the weekend and saw two teams make the cut: Squirtle Squad, and OREsports.

It’s the latter of those two, in particular, that is causing a buzz on Twitter today as pro player Jonaaa6 shared the round-winning moment that secured the team’s qualification, and it’s absolutely mad. In case it wasn’t obvious from the title, major headphone volume warning here as the team goes nuts over their victory:

OREsports finished the Challengers LCQ in second place, but that was enough to secure qualification and make sure they’ll be playing amongst North America’s Tier 2 throughout the season. In turn, they’ll be duking it out for a potential victory not only in that domestic tournament but a possible spot in the subsequent Ascension tournament that determines which team is promoted to a franchised partner with Riot Games.

Put simply, this is the first major step on a long road to stardom that would see all five players earn big bucks and secure a future in esports. As you can tell, it means the absolute world to them!

The Valorant Champions tour and its Tier 2 scene isn’t the easiest to understand, so we have a full breakdown of how the whole structure will play out here.

How will partnered VALORANT teams make money in 2023?

The VALORANT partnership sweepstakes was one of the most gripping stories of 2022, with Riot effectively deciding which 30 teams would acquire “permanent” partnered spots in the international leagues of the rapidly growing VALORANT esports ecosystem.

For the teams, getting a partnership was more than just the opportunity to play at the highest level. It was a chance for the organizations to get in on a plethora of potential revenue streams outside of the standard ones across most organizations, like sponsors, merch, prize pool, and more.

Prior to the start of the 2023 VCT season and the beginning of the VALORANT partnership era, the head of VALORANT esports Leo Faria appeared on an episode of The Wisemen podcast with 100T streamer Hiko, esports insider Slasher, and former 100T coach Sean Gares and laid out all the ways teams can “monetize” their partnership with Riot.

Timestamp: 2:39:18

Here’s a look at all the ways partnered VALORANT teams will earn money starting in 2023.

A “healthy, lump sum” stipend for teams

Partnered organizations competing in the highest tier of VALORANT will receive a stipend just for being in the league. Faria said Riot wants to give teams some sort of “predictable revenue” they can count on over the year.

While Faria didn’t go into details about the stipend, Dot Esports reported last year that teams will receive a minimum stipend of $600,000 and could be eligible for an additional $400,000 if they achieve deliverables set by Riot. This stipend will, in all likelihood, go toward covering player salaries, travel, and other operating costs, although Riot also gave a separate one-time “relocation” stipend for teams to move closer to the “hub city” for each of the three international leagues.

Revenue share from in-game items and “team-branded content”

Teams will receive a cut of the revenue from both in-game items and monetized “team-branded content.” The first example of this will be the VCT LOCK//IN bundle, which was promised in a recent dev livestream.

Faria said that over the past two years, the VCT Champions bundle has “been incredibly successful.” In 2022, the bundle generated at least $16 million that went toward the teams, which would come out to over $1 million going to each team.

Teams will get a “big portion” of the revenue from team-branded content, which Faria says is “still in the works.” Faria added that the partnership team selection process involved Riot working with teams to plan out in-game content tied to a team’s own brand. The team-branded content also comes with a “minimum guarantee,” ensuring that teams that are still growing in popularity get a minimum cut.

Prize pool and “incentives”

As always, teams that play the best will earn the largest share of prize pools. In 2022, Riot gave out over $2.3 million across its international VCT events in Masters and Champions. OpTic and LOUD effectively tied for earning the most money internationally in 2022, with OpTic earning $435,000 and LOUD earning $430,000.

Teams can also earn additional financial incentives if they go “above and beyond.” Faria cited examples like hosting local watch parties around Champions or additional marketing. As mentioned above, teams can reportedly earn up to $400,000 for meeting these additional requirements.

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