VALORANT messed up big time with their esports structure backfiring big time as the competitive scene is the object of ridicule by fans around the world. Despite the fault not entirely being Riot Games’ fault, their response to the issue is so poor that fans can’t help but laugh at the company for ruining their own tournament scene. The fans have picked up their torches and pitchforks to attack Riot Games.
VALORANT Kicks The Guard From Qualifying in the 2024 Season
After the conclusion of the VALORANT Champions Tournament, Riot Games announced that The Guard, who has recently won a slot for the VCT Americas through the Ascension tournament, has been kicked out from competing in the 2024 season due to failure to meet the deadline for the Team Participation Agreement after months of attempts to communicate with the team.
Riot Games is justified in putting a heavy penalty on the team for not coordinating with the organizers and meeting their criteria. However, they further clarified that the spot that The Guard won from the Ascension tournament will not be filled for the upcoming season. Rendering the efforts of all teams that participated in the tournament worthless due to the slot they competed for being forfeit as a whole. Unsurprisingly, the community is upset that VALORANT messed up with this decision.
Ludwig, a popular YouTube personality and co-owner of the Moist Moguls esports team, released a video regarding this issue where he expressed his feeling of disappointment towards Riot Games for nullifying the slot as a whole instead of passing it down to M80, the runner-ups of the tournament, or allowing another organization to buy up the former The Guard VALORANT roster so that they can compete for the slot they worked so hard to win.
Getting rid of the slot totally virtually means that both the players that won the tournament and the partner organizations that spent months preparing for the chance to win had completely wasted their time, money, and effort since the prize would eventually not exist anyway. Even though The Guard, as an organization, is the true antagonist of this event, it’s Riot Games that basically decided to punish its partners and fans for the fault of another organization.
Why Did The Guard Not Communicate With Riot Games?
The Guard is known for being a large, competitive esports organization. After winning the VALORANT Ascension tournament, they were formally allowed to compete as the 11th team in the VCT Americas. However, The Guard had already been suspected of having financial troubles way before the event since they have been undergoing waves of layoffs regarding staff and content creators. The Guard has has not released any formal statement regarding why they did not choose to coordinate with Riot Games.
In terms of speculation, there are reports that state that Riot Games offered an unfair deal to The Guard as a “guest” team instead of treating them to the same benefits as a franchised team. Apparently, The Guard had to meet the same requirements as franchised teams and had to commit to a 2-year deal. If that is true, VALORANT messed up by not being able to meet its obligations to its community.
VALORANT Messed Up Big Time!
VALORANT should have given the slot up to the runner-up of the Ascension tournament. That is the most logical step moving forward after such an incident. However, Riot Games decided on the greedier option and made the exclusively franchised region to remain inaccessible for teams who are willing to play their hearts out for the sake of their region. It is absolutely unacceptable that this should happen.
Fans have argued that it was simply too late for any organization to step into the position due to The Guard spending months not coordinating with Riot Games and the new competitive season being a few months away. However, it is extremely hard to believe that no organization out there is unwilling to take on the task of handling the logistics of the transfer even if it was just a week away from coming up.
Ludwing and MoistCr1tikal’s Reaction
It’s only natural that any person who spent hundreds of thousands of their money to support their teams in giving them an opportunity to compete in the big leagues would be vocally upset at the matter. Loyalists who have stood with Riot Games are criticizing these content creators for having ulterior motives to their anger. They believe that they are only using this issue and their influence to force Riot Games to promote their teams and brand.
It is clear that none of the content creators who have spoken about the matter have even suggested that their own teams be put ahead of both M80 or the former The Guard players themselves. They believe that either of these two teams should rightfully claim the slot that Riot Games is trying to forfeit. Regardless, none of these content creators are pushing their fans or supporters to attack Riot Games for their decision and are instead only releasing their statements of dissatisfaction.
Will Riot Games Hold Another Ascension Tournament?
Riot Games will most likely hold another Ascension tournament in the 2024 season. However, there might be a small chance that they’ll cancel the event altogether due to the negative effects of the issue surrounding the “The Guard incident.” VALORANT messed up and it’s hard for them to convince esports organizations to participate in a similar tournament scene.
If Riot Games wants to convince teams to join up, they’ll really need to give the organizations more incentive to join in the 2024 season. Especially now that they hear rumors about Riot Games treating non-franchised teams unfairly even though they are the ones hosting tournaments in search of an 11th team to compete in the rotation. It’ll be a monumental task so Riot Games needs to make sure that they make amends for the fact that VALORANT messed up.