First Strike — Riot Games announces next steps for Valorant esports
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
9/23/2020, 4:11:06 PM
Valorant’s Ignition Series was a smashing success. Events across the globe saw the rise of Valorant esports. Players shifted from other games, grew their brand, and gave fans months of entertaining competitive play. With the more than 20 Ignition Series events winding down, players and spectators alike have one question on their mind.
Riot Games has formally announced that Head of Global Esports John Needham and Senior Esports Director Whalen Rozelle will lead the way. They are prepared to launch Valorant to the top of the mountain when it comes to competitive gaming. The announcement continues in the form of the Valorant First Strike Tournament. This will be the first Valorant tournament officially organized by Riot Games.
The tournament will be a global effort with qualifier events beginning in the second half of October. The First Strike Tournament is a chance for amateur and professional teams both to show their stuff. The event will last until December, culminating in the First Strike Finals. The multiple region finals will take place from December 3rd to the 6th.
Additional details on the qualification process and rules for the First Strike Tournament will be released at a later date.
John Needham also touched on Riot Games’ involvement with Valorant esports as the lead up to the First Strike Tournament begins. Riot will be investing in the Valorant competitive scene much like it does for League of Legends. Broadcasting, community engagement, and internal team growth are just some of the ways that Riot will be upping the ante when it comes to competitive Valorant.
The goal is to ensure that “Valorant becomes the genre defining esport of its generation.”
Whalen Rozelle continued on with more changes coming ahead of the First Strike Tournament. The Valorant developer team will ship several new observer tool updates, allowing for better broadcasting capabilities. As well, a round reset feature is in the works to “help competitive integrity.”
The surprises don’t end there. No specific details were laid out, but there will be several more Valorant tournaments held by Riot after the First Strike Tournament.
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Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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