Riot Games reveals “Virtual Pass” for LoL Worlds 2023 with digital and physical products

League of Legends Worlds winner plays on this stageColin Young-Wolff for Riot Games

In a blog post from John Needham, President of Esports at Riot Games, he revealed that the League of Legends World Championship will have a “Virtual Pass” that will include special digital and physical products with some of the money going to the teams.

In a One Shot blog post by the head of esports at Riot Games, the League of Legends and Valorant developer revealed that a new product is launching for fans to purchase of Worlds 2022 and the Valorant Champions Tour next year. The product is a “Virtual Pass” which will possibly feature digital and physical products, like in-game skins and Worlds merchandise.

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The Needham went on to say that next year he wants to expand the product into Valorant esports competitions and also added more “experiential features” for fans. He teased special in-game cameras that could follow specific characters in matches, access to live cameras from the event venue and even potentially digital collectibles.

He also threw out other ideas with the Virtual Pass like esport team-specific passes that would give people the opportunity to get team-branded digital and physical products and exclusive access to pro team’s rooms and chat channels.

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Riot teases Worlds 2023 Virtual Pass

“If we design this product right, it will deliver great experiences and connect fans with their favorite players and teams, while simultaneously creating a new revenue stream for teams,” Needham said.

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The post said that this idea came from the lack of live event revenue from esports events when compared to traditional sports. While League of Legends or Valorant matches way sell out an arena, most fans would probably rather watch the tournaments at home on Twitch or YouTube for free and get almost the same experience.

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Other potential activations for esports-specific, and team-specific, revenue was also discussed in the blog post like Riot’s idea to make up for a lack of broadcast licensing fees for its league by using target ads toward fans watching from their platform.

Worlds 2023 is still months away, teams haven’t even played in the Mid-Season Invitational yet, so the specifics around what will come in the virtual pass can still change or be tweaked.

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