For wider sponsorship reach.
Riot Games has decreed that no blood shall be displayed in third-party tournaments for its competitive FPS Valorant.
Alright, “decreed” is a strong word, but toggling off the game’s blood display setting is definitely one of the company’s main conditions for running a Valorant tournament. In its Community Competition Guidelines document, Riot notes that tournaments, be they small, medium, or major, “must toggle off “Show Blood” in the Valorant settings”.
The reason for this is accessibility. Riot esports director Whalen “Magus” Rozelle told Kotaku that “by turning off blood, we allow more sponsors and distributors to join the ecosystem, ultimately, creating more accessibility and stability for everyone. Leading up to the Valorant closed beta launch, we met with more than 100 esports organisations, who by and large, also echoed that sentiment”. I assume that the Chinese market plays a part too, given China’s aversion to blood in games.
Rozelle also provided some other information about Riot’s esports plans for Valorant in a blog post, which detailed Riot’s core principles of competitive integrity, accessibility, and authenticity, as well as their current plans for third parties to take the lead. “As part of our Authenticity principle, we want to let VALORANT grow naturally; we’re not looking to force anything too quickly without knowing what’s best for esports fans,” he wrote.
“As such, a primary focus early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organizers, and developers—unlocking them to help us to build this ecosystem”.