Shopify Rebellion blasted the Valorant esports partership program as a “popularity contest” after Riot informed the org they would not be moving forward in it.
Shopify Rebellion has two Valorant rosters under its banner, one of the best women’s teams in North America, and Luminosity Gaming’s former squad, who joined in June of 2022.
This newly signed team is set to compete in the NA Valorant Champions Tour Last Chance Qualifier in August.
However, on July 15 the org put out a scathing statement after Riot informed them the publisher had decided not to move forward with their application to the Valorant partnership program.
Valorant partnership program a “popularity contest”
“We’re obviously disappointed,” the statement said. “A popularity contest for a woefully small number of team slots in a partnered league was always going to leave too many on the outside looking in.
“Moving forward, our hope is that Riot will find meaningful ways to support the broader ecosystem— too many incredible players, creators, and talent that have invested their lives in making Valorant a success deserve it.”
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The organization didn’t say what their plans were for Valorant come 2023, but stated they would share more on their future in the esport later during summer 2022.
Riot Games has started to make cuts to their application pool for the upcoming three international partnered leagues. SoaR Gaming announced June 15 that they also had not made the cut for the next stage while Indian org Global Esport’s founder said it had made it through to the next stage on the same day.
Shopify came into Valorant by signing the free agent team Built Butter, formerly Moon Raccoons, after the squad made a deep run in the first NA Game Changers event in 2021.
Under the Shopify name, the Valorant team has finished in the top three, normally reaching the Grand Final, in every Game Changers they have competed in.
VCT is set to have three international leagues come 2023 set up in the Americas, EMEA and Asia. Riot Games has yet to confirm or announce details around the leagues, the number of teams in each league or how many slot are being given for each region. It has been reported that the leagues will have eight to 10 teams in each league.