Ninja and Pokimane respond to backlash over “exclusive” Valorant co-streaming

pokimane and ninjaTwitch: Ninja/Pokimane

Ninja and Pokimane have responded to backlash after they were chosen as specially designated co-streamers of the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Masters NA, with some fans believing they were ‘undeserving’ of the role.

Co-streaming in esports has been a point of contention for a long time. Riot drew the ire of the public during First Strike when they only granted co-streaming permissions to Ninja and Myth, while the ban on co-streaming in the LEC has been a point of debate for a while.

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As things stand, Riot is currently not allowing just any streamer to commentate over the VCT Masters NA broadcast. On March 11, they announced Myth, Shroud, Ninja and Pokimane would be granted special permission to co-stream VCT Masters NA on their own channels.

However, some fans have criticized Riot’s decision, claiming the choice to pick Ninja and Pokimane over other streamers was purely down to their popularity, rather than their knowledge of the game. Some players called on Riot to grant co-streaming permission to 100 Thieves sub Quan ‘dicey’ Tran, but he revealed he had been turned down.

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Responding to the backlash, Pokimane advocated for allowing pro-players the ability to co-stream.

“Saw some comments about Valorant co-streaming,” she said. “I had no idea pros wanted to stream it but couldn’t. I agree they should be able to! Sorry to those who were disappointed, wish it was up to me.”

Sova aficionado and Team Liquid content creator AverageJonas jumped to the defense of both streamers, explaining his belief that both were more than qualified to host co-streams.

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“I love how people are silly enough to criticize Ninja for being there when he actually has tons of competitive experience in Valorant,” he said. “Same goes to Pokimane who has played the game since Beta and is a great role model for our community.”

Ninja thanked AverageJonas for defending him. “It is not frequent where I am defended by people (In any community) that have a voice,” he said.

Fortunately, one fan, Jebleezus, has offered what seems to be a solution. They suggested to Pokimane that she bring a pro player, like dicey, onto her co-stream to provide added insight. Both parties expressed their willingness to produce this kind of content.

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What is Riot’s policy on co-streaming?

Riot is yet to publicly release a Valorant-specific policy, but it likely echoes that of the LCS. This defines co-streaming as “rebroadcasting the content from a current stream while adding live commentary and/or video.” For someone to produce a co-stream, they must have special permission.

Riot is selective with their choice of co-streamers as they are keen to avoid compromising sponsorship deals and professional integrity, as well as track viewing numbers.

Limiting the number of co-streamers makes all this much easier for Riot to monitor, and avoid any major mishaps that could rub the wrong people up the wrong way.

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But if you’re looking for the best way of keeping up with VCT Masters NA, there’s no better place than our dedicated hub.