It appears Riot wants to take the next step towards growing the Valorant esports scene with the announcement of First Strike.
The tournament is a Riot-produced global competition aimed to recognize the best teams in their respective regions.
Keeping in mind a burgeoning competitive esports ecosystem for Valorant, Riot initially pulled off the Ignition Series.
It later turned out to be a successful global campaign, where over 20 premier event organizers pooled over $572,000 in prize money.
Now, on to the next step, Riot have decided to continue their efforts in making Valorant esports one of the best in the gaming scene.
Riot announced First Strike on September 23, a Valorant tournament organized and backed by the video game company.
The global tournament will create opportunities for Valorant players from around the world to rise through the ranks and be crowned as regional champions.
There’s no stop in sight for the massive growth of Valorant esports, and Riot only wants to build on the momentum from the recent Ignition Series.
Currently, more players continue to pour in the 5v5 tactical shooter. The fan interest didn’t seem to dwindle since the game’s beta stage, where Riot claims nearly three million people played the beta daily on average.
First Strike serves as a great stepping stone and a solid foundation for the Valorant competitive scene which Riot can work on for the succeeding years to come.
Event structure, details
The competition will comprise a global set of tournaments, with regional finals taking place around the world.
In December, the merit-based qualifiers will draw to a close at a regional finals— where the top eight teams in each region will battle it out to become the First Strike champions.
For interested players, you must be at least 16 years old and have earned a rank of Immortal 1 to be eligible to compete in the qualifiers.
Regional qualifiers for First Strike will start in the second half of October. Official dates, rules and regulations are still yet to be confirmed by Riot.
The events will be managed by various premier esports organizations in each region.
Participating regions are as follows:
- North America
- CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)
The top eight teams will meet in their region’s finals sometime between December 3-6. First Strike will be restricted to purely online events, considering the current worldwide travel restrictions.
Whalen Rozelle, Riot’s Senior Director of Esports, said in a press release how First Strike is the next logical step towards the right direction for the hyped title.
“Valorant is a deeply competitive title with global appeal and the necessary elements to become the next premier esport.”
“First Strike will provide our thriving competitive ecosystem with the platform to showcase their greatness, build regional legacy, and a foundation that will support the esport for years to come.”
Anna Donlon, Executive Producer of Valorant, also said in a statement:
“Esports remains one of the best investments we can make to support our community for the long term,”
“As we’ve already seen from the Ignition Series, there’s a huge demand and hunger for Valorant to be played at a professional level, and we’re so excited to be starting that journey with fans, players, and organizations.”
“As a development team, supporting the competitive world of Valorant is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to this journey.”
With Riot being fully invested in growing the tactical shooter’s competitive scene, the future seems bright for the Valorant esports!
Read the full announcement blog post here.