How Riot built its VALORANT Champions bundle

How Riot built its VALORANT Champions bundle

Here's how the design team at Riot made the VCT Champions in-game content
This article is over 2 years old and may contain outdated information

To celebrate the VALORANT Champions Tour’s finale, Champions 2021, developer Riot Games will be giving out free in-game content and selling a VCT Champions bundle. The bundle includes gun effects unique to that skin line as well as reference the Champions theme song, “Die For You.”

Recommended Videos

The VALORANT designers behind these cosmetics said they wanted to give the users pride in their fandom.

“Our primary goal was to design a skin to commemorate VALORANT’s first ever world championship in-game and give esports fans a first step in expressing their fandom through cosmetics, ” Preeti Khanolkar, Senior Producer for VALORANT, said in a statement.

The designers wanted the guns to reflect VCT Champions and its impact on the larger VALORANT community. They wanted something bold and stylish that had a competitive flair.

The VCT Champions Vandal | Provided by Riot Games
The VCT Champions Vandal | Provided by Riot Games

“A big consideration for us was making sure the features felt like a ‘hook’ that would enhance the esports broadcast whenever a pro player used the skin during the Champions event,” Khanolkar said, “but also give players a feeling of heightened intensity and competition when they used it in their own matches.”

A set that represents VALORANT

Riot settled on the gold and black with red accents, in-line with the theme of VCT Champions 2021.

“In terms of the actual features, we were inspired by the high moments pros and players experience in VALORANT: getting kills, top fragging, and just generally flexing on your enemies,” Sean Marino, Associate Art Director for VALORANT, said in a statement. “That’s why we invested heavily in designing the on-kill glow effect (which triggers on every kill), the inspect music, and the Finisher. The Champion’s Aura is also a brand-new feature that really cements this skin as a skin for champions by adding a golden glow that surrounds the skin only when a player has the most kills in the game.”

As for the karambit, Marino mentioned that it was heavily requested by the community. But they wanted it to feel special, to have it fit in the larger theme of the bundle. “We wanted to take this karambit in a different direction, which we’re definitely much happier with and hope players will appreciate too.”

The VCT Champions Vandal and Karambit | Provided by Riot Games
The VCT Champions Vandal and Karambit | Provided by Riot Games

A Finisher to remember

The Champions finisher, Riot designers said, started out as a minor, abrupt effect. It was meant to be an Easter egg of sorts. But, as time went on, the team got more and more excited about it.

“We were worried that players would get transported to the ‘Mindscape Finisher’ and have no idea what happened and possibly think it was a bug,” Khanolkar said. “We decided to go all-in with the effect and support it with a different part of the song.”

In fact, while working on the effect, the artists were listening to the theme. “Our VFX artist was listening to the VCT Champions anthem on repeat while working on the Finisher,” Khanolkar said. “He’s a huge esports fan and wanted to create a Finisher that felt really aspirational.” The artist’s inspiration was Brimstone’s struggle against the weight of the world, and he decided to take that and run with it.

Brimstone holding the weight of the world | Provided by Riot Games
Brimstone holding the weight of the world | Provided by Riot Games

The VALORANT Champions bundle including the Vandal skin, karambit and a few other goodies will be purchasable starting Wednesday, as well as there being some free VALORANT Champions in-game rewards available to players when VALORANT Champions begins in December.

Image of Landon Summers
Landon Summers
Attending university on my Master's in Mathematics, working as an on-campus tutor and writing about what I enjoy. For Upcomer, I mainly write about Valorant and esports, combining my love of Math and video games! I also love food, Pokémon and League!