The Fate of Indian Valorant Rides on Global Esports’ Shoulders at the APAC LCQ 2021

Is there a way to help ease their burden?

Nishant Patel
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Global Esports Will Represent Valorant India at the APAC Last Chance Qualifier</p></div>

Global Esports Will Represent Valorant India at the APAC Last Chance Qualifier

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Global Esports

On 29th August 2021, Global Esports (GE) beat Velocity Gaming (VLT) in the grand finals of the Valorant Conquerors Championship (VCC). It was a nail biter with GE clinching the series 3-2 after winning the decider game on Ascent. The team has now secured a slot at the APAC Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) and with it, the responsibility of representing Indian PC esports at the world stage.

Over the years, Indian esports has had (and spectacularly blown) its fair share of opportunities on the international stage. But the stakes have never been this large. Hype for PC esports in India is at an all-time high, with the VCC grand finals clocking an impressive 55,000+ peak viewership according to Esports Charts. Yet when it comes to Valorant, India vs international bouts have been few and far apart. The LCQ will be the first real test of India’s capabilities in the game when pitted against some of the best in Asia. And therein lies the burden of performance on Global Esports.

Nobody wants to watch trash tier esports teams competing in local tournaments

Dear reader. Before you jump the gun, I’m not insinuating that Indian Valorant teams are trash. But this is a perception that could easily be formed depending on GE’s performance at the LCQ. As someone that has seen first hand the rise and fall of Dota 2 and CS:GO in the country, I can assure you that GE’s current shot at international glory isn’t a first for Indian esports. Teams like Beyond Infinity, Signify, Elunes, Team Wolf, Entity Gaming and many more populate the graveyard of those that have fallen at the hands of global competitors since as far back as 2013.

When this happens repeatedly, esports fans quickly lose interest after realizing that there are higher quality matches that are easily accessible and viewable for free on the internet! Over time, watching international tournaments and rooting for international teams becomes a more valuable use of fans' time than watching (relatively) lower tier teams slugging it out in local tournaments.

Let’s face it, esports is and always has been a global phenomenon. Outside of South Asia, teams are often composed of players from multiple nationalities. In the larger esports landscape, the concept of supporting a team just because it hails from a particular country holds little significance. As esports fans, we’re looking for the sickest highlights, the highest quality of gameplay, the most entertaining storylines, and jaw dropping in-game moments that the world of Valorant can offer.

Given the VCC Qualifier#1 finals viewership data which skews towards Hindi language broadcasts, it’s an open secret that the Indian esports fan prefers to consume Valorant in local languages.

Viewership data for the grand finals of VCC Qualifier#1

AFK Gaming, NODWIN Gaming

This might lead one to believe that there is inherent interest for Indian Valorant esports. Yet, if Indian Valorant teams were to consistently underperform on the world stage (much like their Dota 2 and CS:GO predecessors) we could witness history repeating itself. It’s entirely possible that in the long run, Hindi language broadcasts of international tournaments will outperform those featuring exclusively Indian teams in terms of viewership.

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