Riot Games has announced its first self-produced tournaments for its first-person shooter Valorant after a summer of success with the game’s blossoming esports scene.
To kickstart Valorant esports, Riot partnered with a number of third-party tournament organisers and esports teams as part of the Valorant Ignition Series. This sparked the competitive Valorant scene into life and saw dozens of established esports organisations such as FaZe Clan, G2, Team SoloMid, and many more sign rosters to compete.
Clearly happy with the progress, Riot is now taking the plunge to host its own Valorant tournament series called First Strike. First Strike will essentially be eight separate regional events, which will all be played online. Both big-name organisations and amatuer teams will compete in “a series of merit-based qualifiers,” which start next month in October, to earn spots at the Riot-produced First Strike Finals in their respective regions. The First Strike Finals will all be held December 3-6, and will each feature eight teams.
The eight regions getting First Strike competitions are North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East.
In a video update, Riot’s senior director of esports Whalen Rozzele also reveals that the competitive team is working with Valorant’s developers to “ship much needed Observer Tool updates, as well as a round reset feature that will help competitive integrity” ahead of the First Strike events.
What’s next for esports after the Ignition Series? Executive Producer @RiotSuperCakes, the Head of Global Esports John Needham, and Senior Esports Director @RiotMagus share details about the First Strike Tournament. pic.twitter.com/MsOG9KQbFa
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) September 23, 2020
There is currently no word on prize pools for the First Strike competitions.
Riot’s first plunge into producing tournaments for Valorant will see them operating at a time of the year that is usually pretty sparse when it comes to top-tier esports events.
With the previous success of the Ignition Series, a relatively quiet esports schedule, and changes being made in-game to aid competitive integrity, First Strike is looking well-placed to be a great display of what Valorant esports can achieve.