Riot Games recently announced Ninja and Pokimane as the exclusive co-streamers for the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Masters NA and many fans were unhappy with the decision. While both Ninja and Pokimane are very popular content creators, many within the Valorant community feel that they are not deserving of the role and pro players should be asked to commentate during the event instead. This is not the first time that Riot Games sparked controversy with its exclusive co-streaming partnerships. Last year, the company allowed Myth and Ninja to co-stream First Strike, which garnered a lot of negative feedback. Ninja and Pokimane responded to all of the criticism recently and shared their thoughts.
Ninja and Pokimane’s Response to The Recent Backlash
Ninja and Pokimane responded to the recent controversy and tried to reason with the community. Pokimane said that she had no idea about pro players wanting to stream the upcoming event and that they were left out of it. She said that if it were up to her, she would make more members of the community be a part of the co-streaming program. She also offered to include pro players in her stream and be a part of her co-streams with Ninja.
Team Liquid content creator AverageJonas defended Ninja and Pokimane saying that both content creators have been part of the Valorant community for a very long time and deserve the spotlight by Riot. Ninja responded to Jonas saying that he appreciated the support and he revealed that he does not usually get defended in communities where he has a voice.
Riot Games chooses which co-streamers get to co-stream the event which has upset fans for a very long time. Similar to how it chose Ninja and Pokimane for Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Masters NA, the company chooses streamers for other events in League of Legends as well. While it makes it easier for Riot to monitor viewership numbers and ensures professional integrity, it does not sit well with the fans as some of their favourite content creators and pro players are not given the opportunity to be a part of the event.
Riot’s Co-Streaming Policy
Riot Games does not have a Valorant-specific streaming policy but it is likely that it is similar to the League of Legends Championship series. Its LCS rules states “rebroadcasting the content from a current stream while adding live commentary and/or video.” For someone to produce a co-stream, they must have special permission.” This means that watch parties are not allowed by Riot and engaging in them can lead to copyright strikes.