The Coronavirus has claimed yet another high profile gaming event.
With the Game Developers Conference (GDC) recently being postponed until summer because of Coronavirus concerns, and multiple gaming companies pulling out of PAX East for the same reason, Riot has now outright cancelled the Valorant gameplay capture event that they had planned with streamers, pro players, and content creators.
According to Rod “Slasher” Breslau, a highly respected esports insider, Riot sent an email to invitees informing them of the cancellation. The event was rumored to be scheduled in mid-March at Riot’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
— Rod 'I don't sign NDAs' Breslau (@Slasher) March 3, 2020
In the email, Riot cites their “Players first” policy as the reason to move away from the face-to-face event.
“To be honest with you, this totally sucks. As integral members of the gaming community, we worked super hard to craft an experience to present our game and our story to you in the best environment possible.”
This is sure to disappoint many who were excited to see Riot’s highly anticipated, tactical team-based shooter, but all is not lost.
As a substitute, Riot is apparently working on putting together a remote event that lets influencers get hands-on experience from the familiarity of their home setups.
“While it is certainly not as cool as what we had planned, it is our top priority to empower you to be the community’s entry point for your gameplay commentary and education.”
The story continued to develop as the day went on. Nearly two hours after this was originally reported, the official Valorant twitter account basically confirmed what Slasher tweeted.
VALORANT's goal is to bring the world together in the spirit of competition and creative play but in current circumstances, flying folks in to play under one roof isn't smart.
We're cancelling March's hands-on gameplay events – let's play without the health risks. Stay tuned.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) March 3, 2020
While this development might end up slightly hampering Valorant’s media exposure, it’s nice to see Riot exercising caution with something that has already claimed multiple lives in the United States and across the world.
Max is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, Washington. Armed with a BS in Game Design, he is mainly focused on covering Call of Duty, Legends of Runeterra, and streamer culture for Level Push.