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Valorant tournaments will have to censor the blood

Headshots will result in sparks instead

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A player in Valorant getting shot in the head but sparks fly out instead of blood Image: Riot games via Polygon
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

On Wednesday afternoon Riot provided its first full update to the community on how Valorant esports are going to work. Rather than running official tournaments or a league, Riot will instead partner with third-parties to create tournaments and events. But the developer still has a few specific rules for the tournament organizers, including that blood effects have to be turned off during the tournament.

Inside Riot’s official tournament rules for organizers, there’s a section about broadcasting the game. One of the bullet points in this section says that the “Show Blood” option from the in-game menu has to be set to off. This doesn’t change anything about the game other than the fact that sparks explode from players when they’re shot instead of blood.

A player getting shot in Valorant Image: Riot Games via Polygon

For most standard, large-scale tournaments this option will only need to be enabled for the observers in each game. But if a tournament is streaming different perspectives, or using footage from streamer’s first-person views, then every streamer will have to have blood disabled as well.

While at first glance blood may not seem like a big deal, it can make a big difference to advertisers, who have content guidelines. Turning off blood during events can help make the game more attractive as a potential partner, since it won’t have so much objectionable content — apart from the massive amount of shooting.

Aside from just the rules on in-game blood, Riot has a few other regulations for broadcasters to follow as well. For instance, it’s a requirement for all broadcasted tournaments to moderate the chat and “prevent vulgar, abusive, or otherwise mean spirited environment.” Riot also includes a list of prohibited forms of advertising which include things like other games, alcohol or tobacco products, gambling, and firearms.

As long as tournament organizers stay within these regulations, anyone can host a Valorant tournament. While individuals and smaller tournaments don’t need to register with Riot at all, larger events and international tournament organizers will have to partner with the developer for their events.

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