This article was a draft for more than a year because I didn’t care to finish it. I decided to cut pretty much everything from it and keep the interesting stuff only.
So here’s how Riot Games were promoting Valorant when it was in Beta, I found this case interesting and hope that you will do too.
1. Talent Acquisition
Valorant is a competitive shooter I’ve never played yet I was their target audience because at the time I was playing some Overwatch, and I was following Overwatch League (a professional e-sport league for OW players).
This is Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won on the Tonight Show after his team (San Francisco Shock) won the Overwatch championship.
Sinatraa was also the MVP of the 2019 season.
Safe to say he was the biggest name in Overwatch League in 2019.
In 2020 Sinatraa moved to Valorant.
Pretty neat investment from Riot Games. Taking a poster boy for your competitors’ game and using his popularity to promote your game, I don’t thing there’s an easier way to make Overwatch fans watch some Valorant streams.
2: In-game advertising
This is a list of top-ranking Overwatch players.
The player in 4th place changed his nickname to PLAYVALORANT. I can only assume he was prompted to do so by someone from Riot Games in exchange for $$$.
Pretty unique ad placement, kudos.
3: Hijacking Twitch charts
Around the same time when Sinatraa made the move and Riot were throwing a ton of resources into promoting Valorant, players could sign up for beta access.
To unlock your beta account you had to connect your twitch account to your Riot account and watch a minimum of 2 hours of Valorant gameplay on Twitch, after 2 hours you’d get a key to your game at a random time.
Not only did this force players to get acquainted with the game, but it also put Valorant at the top of the streamed games list which was a great feat for a relatively unknown game still in beta.