Following the success of the Valorant First Strike series, which will conclude next month, the esports team at Riot Games is set to take the next step to promote Valorant’s competitive side. The team announced a new season-long global competition launching early-2021. The Champions Tour will have teams qualifying for the event via regional events to make it to the international stage, followed by the final championship event.
Valorant’s senior director of esports Whalen Rozelle stated the Champions Tour is Valorant’s next step into global esports. The team has been working with professional players, teams, fans, stakeholders, and prospective partners to build up the game’s esports environment. Valorant’s breakthrough in gaming began during the closed beta with over 1.7 million concurrent viewers on Twitch watching the game.
The game went on to become the fastest-growing esport of 2020 and Riot currently has over 20 event organizers working on the Valorant Ignition series and First Strike events. Rozelle revealed in the Champions Tour announcement, “Throughout the past year, the ideas you shared have been critical in building a stronger Champions Tour. Your contributions continue to be the best tool to ensure that as VALORANT grows, it reflects the ideas that are important to you.”
The first official season of the Valorant Championship Tour will feature three tiers, with the Challengers level being the first-step to the finals. Teams from Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, South America and Europe will compete regionally and move onto the international Masters tournaments. Teams that earn the most points in the Masters event will get the opportunity to compete at the Champions event. The final stage will have 16 teams competing for the championship title.
The first partners of the Valorant Champions Tour will be Secretlab and Red Bull. Both brands are long-term partners of the brand in League of Legends and will be supporting the tournament for Riot’s Valorant scene too. The Champions Tour is essentially an international version of Valorant’s first dabble with esports – Valorant First Strike. The final stage of the First Strike tournaments is scheduled for early December.
Riot Games is currently the biggest esports producer in the world with its weekly pro league competitions across all regions. League of Legends’ Worlds championship event is the world’s most viewed esports event and it helped Riot win multiple Emmys. The company revealed in its Championship tour announcement that the community’s ideas have shaped the structure of the upcoming Valorant tournament and more details will be revealed in the coming weeks.