Riot has revealed its first official competition series for new first-person shooter Valorant, partnering with 20 esports organisations in the process.
The Valorant Ignition Series will see a wide variety of competitions “spotlighted” over the next few months, with Riot pledging to include tournaments in North America, Brazil, Latin America, Korea, Japan, South East Asia, Oceania, Europe, Russia, Turkey, and the Middle East. Basically, everywhere. As well as strictly competitive tournaments with prize money on the line, there will also be invitational events and show matches focusing on “top players, established personalities, and aspiring amateurs,” according to a press release.
The Ignition Series will kick off in just a few days time on Friday, June 19, where two events will be played simultaneously across the weekend. Firstly, there is the G2 Esports Valorant Invitational, which will see eight team captains lead teams, but they will only find out their opponents the day before the tournament begins. Then starting on June 20 is a competition for Japanese fans of the game, with a Valorant tournament being held at RAGE, Japan’s biggest esports event.
While Riot is not hosting and organising the events themselves, this “partner program” – as it is called in the announcement post – has been launched in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a thriving future esports scene while also not interrupting the organic growth that has been made during the games beta and early stages of full release.
We aspire to bring the world together in global competition and that means building this together with you. The Ignition Series is our first step: a partnership program with tournament organizers to showcase all forms of competitive VALORANT. Learn more: https://t.co/KU4EFY6FLS
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) June 16, 2020
Invitational tournaments from esports organisations and Twitch Rivals events have been plentiful since the beta released earlier this year, showing off Valorant’s potential as a competitive esport and drawing in decent crowds.
While the supply in recent weeks has really surpassed the demand, with tournaments not receiving the high viewership they initially were, now is likely the perfect time for Riot to announce the Ignition Series and help sustain the natural early growth of Valorant esports.