SK Gaming gets out of Valorant partnership contest, game is "too violent" for their sponsors Rumors2022-07-20 10:22:00
SK Gaming exited the application process for Valorant 2023 franchising because of the club's sponsors, among which are Mercedes-Benz and T-Mobile. They find FPS games too violent. According to Blix.gg, the famous org was one of the participants for Valorant Leagues but opted to get out.
The decision was made by their board members and directors, some of which share stakes in their sponsors. Apparently, SK Gaming will not enter any esports discipline rated USK16 or higher, especially shooters. The organization will stick to "less violent games".
These sponsors were not named, but it was Mercedes-Benz and T-Mobile who seemingly caused SK Gaming to previously exit CS:GO. The club made these partnership deals only after getting out of the discipline in 2018. Their CEO Alexander Muller confirmed that they did it because of the sponsors.
Their exit sparked many discussions about CS:GO being a problematic shooter for sponsors. Although, some esports leaders disagreed with this. G2's Ocelote stated that the issue is sometimes overblown. For example, they split advertising between different disciplines. He and Liquid CEO Nazgul enlisted benefits of working with Valve, which mostly doesn't control what's happening on the scene.
Valorant is considered more sponsor-friendly because the game has no "Terrorists" and "Bombs," and the graphics are less realistic with no bloodshed. SK Gaming has teams in LoL, Rocket League, Brawl Stars, and Clash Royale. They do not own a Valorant squad.
Valorant franchising will reshape the scene in 2023, and reportedly over 150 organizations across the world want to jump on that train, which has no more than 30 seats. Riot Games may reveal the first details on future leagues during the VCT 2022 Masters 2 playoffs in Copenhagen on 22-24 July.