“We aim to make not only League of Legends (LoL) but also the VALORANT Pacific League the world’s best league.”
SOUTH KOREA – In a pre-event press conference held in Seoul, South Korea, Jake Sin, the Head of VALORANT Esports APAC, shared insights on the VCT Pacific League, one of VALORANT’s premier-level leagues, that is running from today to May 28. This event will feature ten of Asia’s top teams competing for a share of the US$250,000 prize pool and a chance to qualify for Masters Tokyo and Champions.
Sin discussed a wide range of topics, including the appeal of VCT Pacific compared to the others and the caliber of production the league intends to provide for its audience, among other points. This article contains a translated version of statements that were originally published in Korean by Kenzi’s Daily Esports. As with any translation, there could be slight variations or discrepancies from the original text.
The competition will begin with an eight-week league play featuring a best-of-three, single round-robin format. Matches will take place every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 5 PM SGT (UTC+8) starting this week. The league play will be followed by a super week consisting of five consecutive matches. This stage will cap off the league play, determining the top six teams that will advance to the playoffs.
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“The growth of VCT has been tremendous over the past three years, with growth rates in most markets continuing to rise,” the Head of VALORANT Esports in APAC said, adding, “it has already become one of the most viewed esports leagues in the world. The game has also been issued a license in China and has about 1.5 million concurrent viewers.”
“The goal of VALORANT is to become the best esports in the world. One could ask if it’s okay to settle for second place, considering how well League of Legends (LoL) is doing. Still, both LoL and Valorant aim for the top and engage in fair competition,” Sin continued, emphasizing that “VCT Pacific also aims to become the best esports [league] in the world, and [VALORANT] aims to become the best FPS title in Asia.”
“Becoming the best esports league means competitiveness, popularity, quality, and commercial value. All four must be met, and everything starts with competitiveness. VCT Pacific must also become a league that can compete with the world and aspire to win.”
Sin also emphasized the importance of creating quality content which he best explained during the Face Off event on March 22.
“For our fans, they’ll be able to see their favorite teams play against the best of the best on LAN for weeks on end not only that, but they’ll also be pampered with a wealth of extra content around their favorite superstars and they can also now discover new international rivalries and catch all the action on best-in-class broadcasts dare I say and attend premium in-person events.
We’re going to be really firing on all cylinders here to over-deliver for our fans. And for our teams, we’re going to work closely with them as they invest in developing their pros and growing their fan bases locally and globally. In the long run, we are committed to ensuring our teams can thrive and build their businesses alongside the overall growth of VCT.”
Q: Why is the league divided this way instead of [being divided like LoL]?
A: LoL Esports and VALORANT Esports have different origins. We prioritize fans and players, and we thought about what fans would like to see. Fans are excited about matches between the top teams and enjoy regional competitions. We wanted to take advantage of this benefit and increase the proportion of international competitions with the best teams participating. Business-wise, we also wanted to provide teams with the foundation to operate globally.
Q: What aspects did Riot Games Korea pay attention to?
A: Riot Games Korea has focused on operating and producing broadcasts for the LCK with world-class know-how. In the case of the LCK, we produce it internally within the Riot Park, but for VCT Pacific, we work with external companies and cooperate to produce it at external stadiums. Therefore, it involves a different level of human resources. However, we can confidently say that we are utilizing all the expertise we have. As VCT Pacific is an international tournament, we wanted to showcase the quality that matches it. We are designing all broadcast content to meet the tastes of global fans, not just those in Korea.
Q: What is the appeal of VCT Pacific?
A: Other esports leagues don’t have the feeling of national competition as much as VCT Pacific does. VCT Pacific has a strong sense of national pride and representatives fighting for their countries. There are many elements that Asian fans can find entertaining. In the traditional FPS scene, Asia has been considered weak, but we see that these things can become a big weapon that we possess. For example, at last year’s Masters, people were enthusiastic about ZETA DIVISION as an underdog team. In the future, we hope that VCT Pacific teams will be able to deliver such inspiration.
Q: What did you learn while producing LCK?
A: It was not smooth sailing when we started producing LCK. However, we have internalized a lot about producing excellent esports broadcasting and content since 2018. Riot Games Korea has a large broadcasting production department, which includes events, broadcasting production, broadcasting content, and infrastructure teams, and no team is not involved in the VALORANT Champions Tour. Team leaders are taking ownership of the tournament and are involved in it. Some people in each team are responsible for VALORANT only. Although our partners are operating it, we are actually brainstorming things together.
Cover photo courtesy of VCT Pacific