Riot Games' new first-person shooter, VALORANT (released 2 June 2020), has already made long strides in the esports sector, positioning itself amongst the likes of Valve's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 as one of the world's top esports games. The VALORANT 'Ignition Series' – Riot Games' shiny new esports ecosystem – is bringing the largest VALORANT tournaments already happening globally under one banner and is backed by world-class esports organisations like Japan's largest esports event, RAGE, and Europe's G2 esports.
Unlike with traditional sports in the UK, there is no esports-specific legislation. Regulators have instead opted to apply existing rules (e.g. the Gambling Act 2005, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and the CAP Code) to fit the rapidly evolving esports scene and the coverage thereof. With an enthusiastic viewership still isolating in their homes with little to do other than to play video games and watch Twitch streamers, Summer 2020 is shaping up to be the Summer of esports. The social draw of esports, alongside predictions that the industry is set to exceed a global revenue of USD 1 billion in 2020, will likely prompt regulatory scrutiny from the powers that be.
Only time will tell the extent to which the VALORANT Ignition Series and others like it will light the fire of esports regulatory reform.