In a recent interview with BW Businessworld, Riot Games Head of Marketing for APAC Alasdair Gray said that the Indian esports ecosystem is an important part of the company’s future and that he expects big things for Valorant in the region. Gray said that viewership for the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2022 Riot recorded over 60M total hours watched, compared to 46M in the previous year, and that Valorant has “grown significantly in popularity since its launch just over a couple of years ago.”
Gray also said that Riot believes there is homegrown talent in India that deserves to be highlighted on a world stage and, to that end, it chose Global Esports as a partnered team for the 2023 season—partnered teams receive a six-figure stipend to support their Valorant rosters, don’t have to worry about getting relegated, and receive other benefits and opportunities. Riot announced the VCT 2023 partnered teams in September.
Riot has certainly done a few things to show its support in the region; recently it commissioned game-related mural art in Mumbai and launched billboards for the game across other major cities throughout the country. In addition, it launched Indian agent Harbor (real name: Varun Batra), a controller with water-based abilities (you can learn more from this YouTube video).
Finally, Gray said that the company wants to go beyond just localizing content; he said that Riot is setting up local offices in a number of regions to support the local fan bases including the Philippines, Indonesia/Malaysia, Thailand, and India. It should be noted that under the proposed regulations of online gaming, Riot would need to have an office within the country to be in compliance.