Technology

Riot doubles down on music for Valorant Champions Tour 2023


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Riot Games has announced a new line up of music partnerships to promote the upcoming Valorant Champions Finals. Riot is taking the opportunity to expand the scope of its music partnerships including pop-up events throughout Los Angeles before the August 26 Finals.

The partnerships will feature several artists such as Grabbitz, bbno$, ericdoa, Emei and Jazz Alonso. Several of these artists have worked with Riot on music for the VCT before. Moreover, this selection continues Riot’s tradition of featuring EDM producers, pop singers and rappers to connect with a variety of fans.

VCT music activations

The publisher is known for its event anthems and high production opening ceremonies. This year is no exception.

On July 31, Riot will release the VCT anthem and music video “Ticking Away” by Grabbitz and bbno$ to DSPs. The track will fuse rock and electronic beats and will be performed live during the Valorant Champions Finals Opening Ceremony.

The VCT anthem “Ticking Away” debuts July 31, 2023

The Opening Ceremony will also feature ericdoa who will perform his single “Greater Than One,” a previous Valorant collaboration. Vocalists Emei and Jazz Alonso will also debut a surprise track produced by ARB4.

Over 10,000 fans will gather at the Kia Forum to watch the Opening Ceremony. Riot expects over 2 million fans to watch both the performances and the culmination of the 2023 Valorant Champions Tour.

This year, Riot is also investing into more music activations to build hype before the finals. From August 13 to August 23, the publisher will host pop-up events in a branded DJ truck in various neighborhoods across the city. This will culminate in a one-night music event produced by Brownies & Lemonade in Downtown LA on August 23.

Creating culture through music

Riot has a long history of collaborating with musicians to create tracks that promote its events (and in-game skins). Riots’ first musical collaboration to promote its esports events was nearly a decade ago with “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons. Since then, the publisher has teamed up with many high-profile artists such as ZEDD, The Glitch Mob, Porter Robinson, Chrissy Costanza, Jean Deaux, PVRIS, Ashnikko and LIL NAS X.

Lil Nas X performed at 2022’s League of Legends Worlds

“Reflecting and amplifying music culture is in Valorant’s DNA, and we have an innovative slate of activations for VAL players and esports fans throughout the Champions Tour,” said Maria Egan, global head of music and events for Riot Games. “Between the anthem, Opening Ceremony performances and local pop-ups, the VCT will introduce the thousands in attendance in Los Angeles and the millions watching from around the world to some of the most exciting new artists around the Valorant community.”

More recently, Riot has reforged partnerships with artists that it worked with previously. Out of this year’s lineup, both Grabbitz and ARB4 are returning to partner with Riot again. This year’s anthem is Grabbitz’s third collaboration with the title. He created the game’s 2021 anthem “Die For You” and he also wrote and produced the 2022 VCT anthem “Fire Again.” Similarly, ARB4 previously worked with Riot on the 2022 single “Raja.

“It’s been an honor to work with Valorant for three years in a row now,” said Grabbitz. “To see the impact the songs have had on the community and the players has been astonishing.”

Additionally, Riot is leveraging its reach to promote rising talent and fans of its titles. Ericdoa is 20 and played Valorant for years as his music career took off.

“Making ‘Greater Than One’ was a more than surreal experience and to be able to perform it at Champs is just as exciting,” said ericdoa. “Years ago, I fell in love with Valorant, and being able to work/collaborate with Riot so closely on music still feels like a dream.”

Riot’s push into music has helped the publisher naturally introduce its titles to a broader audience. While turning listeners into players is the ultimate goal, the discovery and broader cultural impact is also valuable for Riot.

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