Riot Games talks VCT Pacific and VALORANT as the #1 FPS in the PH
Esports Inquirer had the chance to talk with Joel Guzman, Riot Philippines Country Manager, about the upcoming inaugural VCT Pacific Season and what it means for VALORANT’s local success.
How is Riot PH viewing the success of VALORANT here, as well as having representatives in the esports scene like Team Secret?
Guzman: Team Secret is very popular in the Filipino gaming community, and VALORANT as a game is getting really popular. It’s actually the #1 FPS (first-person shooter) in the Philippines, and from a global perspective we have 17 million monthly active users and a big chunk of that is coming from the PH. The Philippines is one of the most passionate members in the VALORANT community. In an esports sense, we have kind of seen the increase in interest in viewership. Champions 2022 had around 1.5 million peak viewership, which is a 34% increase from Champions 2021. We’re looking to that increase in 2023 as well. It’s [even] becoming a lifestyle brand nga eh.“
After the success of Team Secret, can you share any significant data regarding their impact on the community and viewership?
Guzman: Weeks ago, when they defeated Team Liquid, it was the talk of the town for weeks. That’s one short term impact I can see, at the end of the day, the caliber of Team Secret inspires a lot of people to try. Like, “hey, if Jessievash can do this, if DubsteP can do this, if Borkum can do this, why not me?” and that’s something we try to proliferate.
All eyes on the Pacific League.
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) March 18, 2023
What reassurance can Riot PH give regarding VALORANT Premiere?
Guzman: [VALORANT Premiere] came from the pandemic situation, there are gamers who play more. Pero iba pa din ‘yung energy ng offline eh, but it’s more like casting a wider net [than offline tournaments]. Who knows, maybe the Faker of VALORANT could be somewhere in the Philippines playing somewhere that’s not in Manila. We want to scout for those talents and hopefully with Premiere, that does it.
How has Riot PH learned from other events? What are you focusing on with this iteration of VCT?
Guzman: One of the things that we needed to ensure and focus on was one, representation of countries where VALORANT is popular and two, deep investment in the ecosystem and a more engaged community.
Guzman added how franchising the league helps with both of these, as this ensures the representation of countries. For the Philippines, we have Team Secret that we can always look forward to and support in VALORANT events. It also helps Riot PH make a long-term partnership and agreement in the ecosystem by working with the same 10 teams throughout the course of the league.
Riot has been very active in working with the community. Can we expect a similar presence in the near future?
Guzman: We’re gonna be leveraging key moments. What makes the Philippines unique is that we also resonate with international influencers. The Kyedae effect – she visited, it was the talk of the town, she got 500k followers within two weeks. We want to leverage on international influencers. When they come, that’s something we want to partner with.
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