flyquest league of legends
Credit: Riot Games

Riot vs. FlyQuest?

Riot reportedly blocked FlyQuest from VCT, here’s what we know

Riot Games reportedly nixed negotiations between FlyQuest and Evil Geniuses regarding the latter’s slot in VCT Americas, leaving many wondering why the company is adamant on keeping EG in Valorant.

The Evil Geniuses saga continues. According to a report by Sheep Esports, Evil Geniuses was ready to sell its spot in VCT Americas, Valorant’s top league in the western hemisphere, to FlyQuest. This would have seen FlyQuest start competing in Valorant and likely would have seen Evil Geniuses out of esports for good. After the organizations found a deal that worked for both parties, they were ready to present it to Riot Games.

To their surprise, the developer rejected the agreement, forcing Evil Geniuses to remain in the VCT and continue competing with its new roster. Considering Evil Geniuses’ recent controversies, it is hard to imagine why would Riot be so adamant on keeping them as a partner.

Why did Riot reject the deal between FlyQuest and Evil Geniuses?

It is unclear why Riot rejected a deal that would have seen FlyQuest added to VCT Americas.

In the LCS and LEC, it’s not uncommon for teams to sell their slots after a couple of failed seasons or big controversies. It happened Echo Fox in the LCS, Astralis in the LEC, and so on.

There are key differences in the way partnerships agreements work for League of Legends and Valorant. For League of Legends, teams bought into the league, paying millions of dollars for the opportunity to compete in a major region. The valorization of these slots has gone down over time. Back in 2019 when Evil Geniuses acquired Echo Fox’s slot in the LCS, it was reported that Evil Geniuses paid over $30 million. When Riot decided to reduce the LCS slots, the developer reportedly offered $7 million in cash to teams, with Evil Geniuses and Golden Guardians taking the offer.

In the VCT, teams have a strict four-year partnership agreement. To keep their place in the VCT, teams must meet certain criteria established by Riot. One of the key requirements is content. Teams are expected to produce content around their Valorant teams, keeping the audience entertained and engaged. League of Legends organizations have been criticized for their lack of content and limited interaction with fans.

Riot tried to change this in Valorant control over the partners and that could be the reason why it decided to block any negotiations. While FlyQuest is a familiar face for League of Legends fans, Riot might simply be hoping for a different suitor to come along, or it might simply take the VCT slot once Evil Geniuses’ four-year contract runs out. Either way, Riot demonstrably feels that it’s in its best interest to keep control over the negotiations and to keep Evil Geniuses around for a while longer.

In 2025, VCT Americas might look different. Evil Geniuses has made it clear that it wants out and Riot might grant them their wish once the partnership agreement is up.

Steven Rondina is a long-time gamer who loves the Persona series, but not quite as much as he loves all things Pokemon. He has a background in writing about video games, gaming culture, and combat sports.