Valorant esports kicked off in 2020 with the Ignition Series and First Strike tournaments being massive successes. Riot Games even announced its Championship Tour, but the global pandemic prevented the tournaments from being ideal for in-person viewership. With most of the First Strike matches being played online, the Korean wing of the First Strike event will feature some matches that a handful of fans can attend in-person.
Twenty-four teams competed for the top 8 spots recently from November 12 to November 22. We now have the final eight teams who will be moving on to the main event in December. The prize pool has been kept separate for each region at $100,000. Here are the eight teams who qualified for the Korean main event:
With a live audience at LoL Park located in Jongno Grand Seoul’s third floor, it is one of the only large-scale esports events taking place in-person this year in Korea. The venue has only 40 seats available at the moment priced at 15,000 won (roughly $14). The other regions are sticking to an online-only format and will have their matches hosted during the first week of December, coinciding with the Korean wing.
The finals of the qualifiers were also in-person at the venue. Strict safety measures have been put in place, and all viewers have temperature checks when entering or leaving the event. To ensure that masks would always be up, fans were not allowed to eat during the event. Most Valorant events have been online only with streams available on platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Hosting the finals on-stage is an interesting choice by the tournament organisers in Korea, and it may open up other events in the future.
Valorant First Strike Korea is not the only Riot event to take place on stage this year. Worlds 2020 also boasted of a live audience but tickets were restricted to just 6,000 people only. With PUBG and other games taking extra safety precautions and deciding to start hosting in-person tournaments next year, Riot might do the same for its upcoming Championship Tour for Valorant. Details for the qualifiers of the Valorant Championship Tour will be up on January 2021, and it is Riot’s biggest esports event or Valorant till date.