Riot Games has today announced the first VALORANT tournament internally organised and operated by the publisher.
The developer-ran event, First Strike, will host a series of regional tournaments across North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East.
The global tournament will culminate in “multiple Riot-produced” event finals from December 3rd to 6th. Both professional and amateur VALORANT teams alike “will have opportunities to qualify for the First Strike finals through online tournaments operated by premier esports organizations,” Riot Games said in a statement.
Whalen Rozelle, Senior Director of Esports at Riot Games, commented on the event in a release: “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.”
First Strike is the latest competitive initiative for VALORANT, succeeding announcement of the Ignition Series in June. The Ignition Series, which saw the developer tap an array of event operators and esports organisations to host its tournaments, attracted more than 20 partners and awarded over $1 million (£784,770) in prize winnings globally.
Anna Donlon, Executive Producer of VALORANT, added: “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.”
Esports Insider says: Now that VALORANT has had time to bake into the global esports ecosystem, it seems the time is finally ripe for Riot Games to step in and begin building its best-in-class infrastructure. There are steep expectations for VALORANT esports, especially so considering the publisher’s exceptional track record with League of Legends, and this is surely the first of many fruitful plans for the title devised inside the Riot Games headquarters.