Sources: Riot Games to offer Valorant partner teams as much as $1.5m annual stipends

Bo Hoogland

Riot Games will offer teams that are accepted into its Valorant partnership program an estimated yearly stipend that could go as high as $1.5 million, multiple sources have told Dexerto.

The Valorant partnership program interview phase is slowly coming to an end, and with this, a lot of new information has been revealed to organizations, including the amount of money that they will be receiving annually from Riot Games if they are accepted into the program.

According to sources, the estimated stipend amount will fluctuate between regions and depend on performance and the league’s revenue sources. The minimum fee across all regions is $600,000 but it could go as high as $1.5 million if certain deliverables are met.

Asian partner teams are expected to receive a bit less than their EMEA and American counterparts due to the region’s lower operational costs, the sources added.

A revolution in Valorant esports

Riot Games announced on April 28 that it was bringing a partnership program to Valorant at the start of 2023, replacing the open circuit that has been in place since the game’s release.

With international leagues in Europe, Asia and the Americas, the new system sees the partnered teams, selected by Riot, receive an annual stipend to help with operational costs. This is a departure from the traditional franchise model, like in the Overwatch League, the Call of Duty League or Riot’s LCS and LEC, where there’s a flat buy-in fee that organizations have to pay.

LCS 2017 Trophy
Riot Games is moving away from the franchise model implemented in League of Legends

In recent weeks, several organizations, including Luminosity, Complexity and New York Fury, have either left Valorant esports entirely or taken a step back from the scene after being turned down by Riot Games.

The interview process for the partnership program is still underway in all three regions, with Riot Games expected to make a decision on the teams that will compete in its 2023 circuit ahead of Valorant Champions, the year-end event in Istanbul, according to a July 20 report from Dot Esports.

Correction: An earlier version of this article mentioned that partner teams were entitled to a stipend of at least $1 million. That information has since been corrected. The minimum stipend stands at $600,000.

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