Riot Games is keen to double down on India and actively engage with gaming community

Over the last year, Riot Games has been hosting small-scale tournaments in Pune and Mumbai. It is now all set to host its first-ever international Valorant esports competition in the country—in Bengaluru from December 14.

Riot Games is keen to double down on India and actively engage with gaming community

Tuesday December 12, 2023,

3 min Read

India is a key market for US games publisher Riot Games and it is looking to actively engage with the gaming community in the country, said Arun Rajappa, Country Manager, India and South Asia, Riot Games.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Riot Games was acquired by gaming firm Tencent in 2011. It is well known for its esports titles Valorant and League of Legends.

Over the last year, Riot Games has been hosting small-scale tournaments in Pune and Mumbai. It is now all set to host its first-ever international Valorant esports competition in the country—in Bengaluru, from December 14. The tournament will have players from around the world engaging with Valorant, one of the company's most popular games in India.

"Valorant was the spark for us to look into the Indian market," Rajappa told YourStory.

Valorant is a competitive 5v5 character-based tactical shooter game for the PC, which has gained popularity across the globe, including India. The franchise is valued at nearly $1 billion, as per media reports.

"We see the large community that is here and realised we need to be where our community is," said Rajappa.

The company is doubling down on its hyperlocal strategy. Most recently, it celebrated the one-year anniversary of Harbor, Valorant's first Indian agent in the game, with a beach clean-up in Mumbai. It is looking to host more tournaments in the country.

Rajappa said the Northeast region is one of the biggest gaming hubs in the country. Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata are also big in terms of number of gamers engaged with Valorant.

While Valorant is a well-loved game in India, Riot Games is looking to get more gamers from India to try out its other titles, like League of Legends.

As per media reports, Riot Games has gamers in the millions across India and Southeast Asia and a chunk of them engage with Valorant.

Riot Games' active push in the country comes at a time when many international titles like KRAFTON's Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and Garena's Free Fire are set to return to India.

Valorant falls under the Battle Royale format, which encourages gamers to make teams and devise strategies to achieve victory. BGMI and Free Fire also belong to this category.

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Mobile variant

Riot Games has chosen to enter a space and market that predominantly plays on the mobile phone. India is the second-largest market for mobile games, with the country clocking 15.4 billion downloads in FY23, as per a report by Lumikai.

Interestingly, Valorant and League of Legends are both PC games. Recognising the impact of mobile gaming in the APAC region, particularly India, the company is working actively to develop a mobile variant for Valorant, said Rajappa.

"We will take our time with it and ensure it comes out right," he added.

(The story was updated to correct a few factual errors.)


Edited by Swetha Kannan