Leo Faria, the Global Head of VALLORANT Esports, spoke on the future landscape of the VCT circuit with the approval of the game in China during a pre-event press conference for VCT LOCK//IN.
BRAZIL – In a pre-event VCT LOCK//IN press conference, Leo Faria, Global Head of VALORANT Esports, discussed the recent approval of the game in China and what it could mean for the future of the VALORANT esports ecosystem.
During the conference, Faria emphazised the significance of China in the global gaming market and why the approval of VALORANT in the country is a game-changer. “We are so excited about China,” said Faria. “We just got the license for VALORANT that we have been waiting for a few years now. It is one of the largest gaming markets in the world,”
Faria mentioned League of Legends as a reference point for the dedication and competitiveness of the Chinese gaming community. “We know from League of Legends how amazing their communities are, how dedicated they are, and how much effort they put into competing and winning championships. So we are building a plan for competitions in China right now. We still do not know exactly how it will take shape, but of course, we want to welcome China into the VCT.”
This follows the recent approval of the game in China and various reports about the upcoming Chinese domestic league run by Tencent via its subsidiary TJ Esports. The company has reportedly been engaging in discussions with various stakeholders in the industry, including players and organizations, about setting up a competition. VALORANT currently has three international leagues running across EMEA, the Americas, and the Pacific, with ten teams each. The new Chinese league launch is tentatively set for the summer, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Despite not having concrete plans at the moment, Faria assured that the VALORANT Esports team is working towards building a plan that will ensure that China has a massive presence in the VCT circuit, not only in the short term but also in the long run. “We will definitely make sure China has a big presence in the VCT.”
When asked about the integration of China into the international VALORANT Champions Tour, Faria expressed his belief that there is a high chance that the country could have its own league, given its large player base and competitive scenes. “We do not know yet, but we think China is probably big enough from a player-base perspective to have their own league. I think we are going to see how the game performs in the market [and] how the initial competition will go, but I think, again, just from a historical perspective looking at the market and how competitive their scenes are, there is a good chance they will become the fourth IL [International League] of the VCT in the future.”
Cover photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games