Riot Games is facing backlash from the VALORANT community after Riot EU forwent official broadcasts and prohibited co-streams for this week's EU VALORANT Challengers Stage 2 matches. In comparison, a number of NA games were streamed during the round of 64 onward, and NA players were allowed to co-stream matches as well.
VALORANT players, commentators, and fans took to Twitter and Reddit on Thursday to voice their displeasure at Riot's poor support for EU VALORANT and to demand that Riot EU provide more broadcast support for EU events moving forward.
Pros and analysts speak out in support of more EU streams
A number of notable voices joined Thursday's call for Riot to increase their support of the EU region, including Heretics coach Tanishq "Tanizhq" Sabharwa, esports analyst Josh "Sideshow" Wilkenson, and NA VALORANT player for the Sentinels Michael "dapr" Gulino.
"So I was under the impression that the games today (Top 16 and Top 8) would be streamed, seems I was wrong," stated Heretics coach Tanizhq, whose team is currently competing in the EU qualifier. "Truly amazing how we can have FEWER streams than Stage 1 despite all the feedback given..... Please say April Fools @valesports_eu."
"This negligence is actively killing the EU scene," said Sideshow in a post on Twitter. "EU has twice the player base and A THIRD of the viewers of NA, and the lack of streams is a huge reason why. How do you build narratives and attract fans without the matches?"
Liquid Jones, a Streamer for Team Liquid, chimed in with a meme comparing the NA and EU qualifier coverage:
VALORANT player for the Sentinels dapr also threw his support behind hosting EU challengers streams.
Those who are speaking out have argued that Riot's failure to support the EU scene could have a negative impact on the growth of the esport in Europe.
"Bad format , lack of streams, no co-stream, all the issues that have lasted since beginning of EU VCT, but somehow still not fixed yet," said frustrated Reddit user simplemanfromVT. "EU player base is not low, it's twice NA playerbase, but they treat pro scene like shit. EU is a region where CSGO still exists like a giant, their lack of effort to build pro scene can kill whole potential of a region."
Thursday's uproar is not the first time the community has spoken up about Riot's lack of support for VALORANT EU. Many EU fans were upset at Riot's barebones approach to the EU First Strike qualifiers in late 2020, which only featured best-of-one matches and no streams to speak of. During the VCT Masters one qualifiers, there were at least some match streams, but NA still received more air time than EU during those qualifiers.
Riot has not yet commented on the community backlash as of writing this story. We will keep you updated as we learn more information.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.