May 24, 2024

The ‘Valorant’ Champions Skin Bundle Needs To Change

The Valorant Champions skin bundle has proven to be a great way to support the pro teams that offer hours of entertainment to fans. The bundle of skins and other cosmetic items is available once a year, with 50% of the sales going to pro teams, earning them millions. In a time when money within the esports space is drying up and many teams are struggling financially that money will of course be very welcome and needed to keep the pro scene financially viable.

However, now in its third year, the 2023 Valorant Champions skin bundle is looking a little underwhelming. While the money aspect is great for teams, it feels like a missed opportunity to do more, and offer even more content to players to increase the amount of money teams can make.

Recent leaks have shown what the 2023 Valorant Champions bundle will include and once again it seems to be a Vandal skin, a knife skin and there will no doubt be some other cosmetic items. This is the second time in the three-year history of the bundle that it will be a Vandal and knife skin as the main attractions, which makes sense in one way as the Phantom (the other gun to get a Champions skin) and Vandal are the two most popular weapons in Valorant. Still, it also ignores other popular weapons like the Operator. Now, people who bought the first Champions bundle will have less of a reason to buy this one because they can only use one at a time.

There’s also the value that this bundle offers compared to others. The last two bundles have cost 6263 VP and 6167 VP, with the 2023 version expected to hit around the same price range. That puts the bundles around $60, which certainly isn’t cheap any way that you look at it, but isn’t out of line with other premium skin bundles. The key difference is that most bundles come with more than two weapon skins, meaning the cost per item for these skins is up there with the most expensive in all of Valorant. At that price, a lot of players who want to support the pro scene simply won’t be able to afford it.

So the obvious answer here is to offer cheaper content for those who want it. Skins probably aren’t the way to go here as it would devalue the main skins in the bundle, but one obvious area that would seemingly be easy to implement would be team-specific profile options. Give me the option to have a player card branded with my favorite team, either competing at Champions or just in all of the VCT. Teams can design them themselves, meaning Riot just has to upload and sell them, splitting the revenue with the teams. It seems like an easy win, is something that lots of other games have done and it should make teams a nice bit of extra cash. I’m amazed it hasn’t happened yet.

The other way to create more value for people who want to support the pro scene financially is to add more content around esports events. Look at the success Dota 2 had with the Battle Pass over the years. The International holds the record for the seven highest prize pools in esports history thanks to crowdfunding, and every year it felt like the battle pass that funded it was getting bigger and bigger.

From fantasy systems to entire game modes and of course, a good amount of cosmetics the Battle Pass offered a ton of content that you could unlock for a reasonable price and spend more if you want. It did create issues, so much so that Valve has now cancelled the Battle Pass for 2023, but with some better prize distribution and allocation of development resources there is no reason something similar couldn’t work for Valorant, and it would likely be a lot more interesting than paying $60 for two skins.

The current Valorant Champions skin bundle is a solid effort to help fund the pro scene and will no doubt be an instant purchase for many when it launches in the coming days. But if, as it seems, this is another collection that features a vandal skin, a knife skin and some generic profile cosmetics then it will be underwhelming for some, and it feels like there is so much potential to do more, especially at a time when teams will be looking for as many revenue streams as possible.

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