Valorant used their India & South Asia Twitter handle to say that they looked at the response for the game in India and South Asia and as a result, Riot is assessing their plans for the next steps on their presence in the region, including esports.
Riot has been allowing the game to grow organically, with communities hosting tournaments with smaller prize pools. Ever since the game went live in India, there have been several tournaments and events held by the community in the Indian scene. Tournaments like India Today League: VALORANT Cup and the many tournaments conducted by The Esports Club including the VALORANT Challenger Series and LG Ultragear TEC Invitational show how much enthusiasm there is for the game in not only India but neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Now it seems that Riot is recognizing this response and planning to set up an official esports presence in the region. Riot has already launched a 2021 esports roadmap for the game with the Valorant Champions Tour, and a tournament-based model that will slowly grow with a structure similar to the world championship in League of Legends.
Valorant Challengers series will be regional competitions that will let players qualify for Valorant Masters. The top tier will be Valorant Champions, a global competition with top teams from different regions competing. Valorant Challengers will begin in February and the season will wrap up with Valorant Champions in December.
Riot wants to establish Valorant as the next big esports title
The game launched in June 2020 with 34 million hours viewed by spectators in a single day, including a peak of 1.7 million concurrent viewers, according to Riot Games. With Valorant, the company hopes that it now has a second big title in esports, similar to how the publisher has created a huge esports scene worldwide for its MOBA League of Legends.
In September 2020, Riot announced the first big online-only esports tournament for the game, an event called First Strike. This global tournament happened across 11 different regions. First Strike Asia Pacific had Hong Kong and Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. However, India was absent. With this tweet, Riot seems to be showing India that they do have their eyes on the growing Valorant esports scene in the country.