Ahead of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) kicking off its 2024 season, game publisher Riot Games has announced that the FPS’ in-game ‘Esports Hub’ has returned.
The Esports Hub is directly integrated into VALORANT’s homepage and provides players with opportunities to find information about upcoming events, professional teams and games.
VALORANT’s Esports Hub was first introduced globally last year to further connect its player base and competitive ecosystem. In the game’s latest patch notes, Riot Games highlighted that the hub would return, alongside some improvements.
The Esports Hub improvements include providing information about the full VCT format, creating better tournament visualisations for global events, such as VCT Madrid, and adding a filterable schedule page for its VCT International Leagues. Another feature of VALORANT’s Esports Hub is that fans can click on official VCT streams directly from within the client itself.
Since VALORANT’s launch in 2020, the FPS title has steadily integrated its esports ecosystem directly into the game. Alongside the creation of its Esports Hub, the game has its own built-in path-to-pro ecosystem called VALORANT Premier.
Moreover, during major esports events, VALORANT typically releases VCT-themed skins that provide revenue-sharing opportunities for selected organisations. Last year, Leo Faria, Global Head of VALORANT Esports, stated that Riot Games distributed more than $33m (~£26.30m) to organisations via digital item revenue in 2023.
VALORANT isn’t the only title to capitalise on its esports ecosystem through the use of cosmetics and in-game interfaces. Notably, Rocket League has its own in-game Esports Shop in which fans can buy branded RLCS–team cosmetics. This shop was recently updated for 2024 to include 10 new organisations.
The VCT is set to commence its 2024 season with a series of kickoff events for its four semi-franchised international leagues — VCT Americas. VCT Pacific, VCT EMEA and the newly debuting VCT China — all of which will commence later in February.