Riot Games’ Tactical Shooter VALORANT has been taking the esports world by storm since its debut earlier this year. Following the title's success, tournament organizer LVL Global has invested in a brand new show, with the fitting title “RALOVANT” — a wordplay on the game and the word “relevant”.
The idea came shortly after organizing VALORANT Clash 1 and 2, when Dorian Gorr, Managing Director of Veritas Entertainment, realized the game offered a lot of potential in esports.
”We felt that with so much stuff going on in VALORANT, it would be cool to create a show that is not just entertaining to watch, but it is also informative, with strategy insights, guests from the scene, and all relevant news and game updates”, says Gorr.
On top of the live broadcast, fans who reside in Berlin can go to the LVL Global venue and experience the show live, as well as be drafted to participate in a game with the talent team, competing to win a Logitech mouse as a souvenir.
The show was created at lightspeed. It took the LVL Global team only two weeks to bring the concept to life, including its visual identity, the introduction theme, and booking high profile guests and known faces in the community. To debut the show, RALOVANT had Su Collins and Christy “Ender” Frierson on desk duty.
VALORANT has been a part of Ender’s life for over three years, tracing back to when he joined Riot Games as a playtester:
“The game has evolved so much from when I first saw it. I was a Jett main the whole time but she wasn't always called Jett, abilities changed. Just seeing how it grew from grey box maps is really cool. For example, there was a map I remember playing that when the game went into friends and family beta and then all of a sudden Split comes up and I was like, ‘I know this map!’”
Commonly found casting the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), Ender shares his time between the two titles in hopes to become ambidextrous in his casting.
“Unfortunately, with LEC going on, I've been very busy with it, so I've been watching, but not doing much casting. But now with the LoL season about to come to an end, I'm hoping to be able to dive right into VALORANT in the off-season”, he states.
Esports journalist and a rising star in the VALORANT scene, Su Collins dedicates her day-to-day to keep up with games, tournaments, and meta changes. Coming from a CS:GO and League of Legends background, she had no difficulties to learn the game’s strategy:
“People compare me to Pronax, who is a CS:GO player. It's way too good of a comparison, I don't want to be mean about him, but he's basically all brains and no aim and that's what I am. [laughs] I think you have to play to your strength, and I am very aware of the fact that mechanically, I'm not as good as I'd like to be. I watch a stupid amount of VODs. I watch the pros play, I watch my friends play. That has been my methodical approach to get the best out of this game.”
While enamored with the game, Collins admits that it’s plagued by one particular problem that needs to be solved if the esports scene is to grow. Young esports titles tend to start with a wild west of tournaments, roster moves, (seemingly) attractive contracts, and a gold rush to be the first to the top.
“No one can necessarily look at or blame anyone specific tournament org, or team, or Riot even, but the scene right now is extremely problematic, in my opinion. There's no infrastructure. If you get signed by an org — great. But about four teams in Europe have been signed by decent orgs. Hopefully, when Riot starts getting involved with First Strike, that's the saving grace.”
With RALOVANT, and host duo Ender and Su at the helm, VALORANT is looking to its first professionally produced Twitch show. Riot Games is set to launch its first official tournament, First Strike, set to take place from December 3-6. Until then, you can catch RALOVANT on the LVL Global Twitch channel.
Looking for esports culture? We got you.