Riot Games' upcoming first-person shooter VALORANT enters its closed beta status today. At 2 PM CEST / 5 AM PST, the servers go live and those lucky enough to get beta access can dive in and explore the new title. Needless to say, content creators are more than excited to share their experiences live with their fans. However, it turns out that Riot Games has asked teams participating in their League of Legends competitions to not stream VALORANT when it goes live. Instead, the publisher has asked them to wait 24 hours.
The seemingly strange request came to light when Matthew "Nadeshot" Haag, the owner of esports organization 100 Thieves, publicly expressed his disappointment with Riot Games' request.
Nadeshot was part of a private VALORANT testing weekend held at the end of March, where various content creators and media could get their hands on the game. Since Nadeshot has been a content creator for over a decade, he was invited too by VALORANT's developers. However, this seemed unfair to other owners of League of Legends teams. All League of Legends teams had been asked to hold off on streaming VALORANT when its closed beta launches. According to VALORANT's Esports Strategy Lead Kasra Jafroodi, this was "so that our players and fans had equal opportunity to get access on the 7th through the content creators that have already been streaming VALORANT."
Nadeshot being an exception led to various team owners complaining to Riot Games, saying it gave him an unfair advantage to test the game as a team owner and potentially scout for VALORANT talent ahead of his competitors. Thus, Riot's esports team approached Nadeshot, asking him to hold off with streaming VALORANT for a full day.
Nadeshot's ban on streaming VALORANT on day one following the miscommunication between VALORANT's division overseeing the private beta event and Riot's esports team has raised many eyebrows. On Twitter, the team owner shared his own thoughts.
In his last Tweet, Nadeshot addresses the other League of Legends team owners complaining about him being allowed to stream, provoking a response from Cloud9 owner Jack Etienne.
With closed beta mere hours away, it doesn't seem like Riot Games' decision to ban Nadeshot from streaming VALORANT will be reversed. Instead, they'll stick by their esports team's guidelines, and prohibit any participating League of Legends team from streaming the first-person shooter when it launches.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.