Esports behemoth Riot Games this week announced plans to host their first Valorant tournament – “First Strike”
The event is slightly different from the “Ignition Series” announced earlier this year, in June. The ignition Series saw Riot partner with several organisations to host tournaments all across the world.
In total, the Ignition Series gave out over $1 Million in prize money.
First Strike, on the other hand, will solely be organised by Riot Games themselves.
Initially, the developer will host a number of localised events across a wide variety of countries and regions. Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania, South America, and the Middle East will all have their own First Strike tournaments.
In December, the First Strike series will come to its conclusion, with multiple event finals. These events will, presumably, feature a number of winning teams from the previous localised tournaments. It’s unclear exactly what the format of these finals will be, and where they are planned for online or offline participation at this point.
It is understood that any and all Valorant players will be given the chance to qualify for the First Strike event through the series of online qualifiers. A move that puts Valorant in similar territory to the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ecosystem, and early League of Legends, prior to the formation of the League Championship Series, and more recently, the franchised system.
Riot early on made the decision to slowly build up Valorant’s esports potential, rather than force it into the spotlight too early. Several notable players from other titles have since committed to the game, including the likes of Adil “Scream” Benriltom of Counter-Strike fame, and Jay “Sinatraa” Won, formerly an Overwatch League champion.
The First Strike tournament series will be the first, but very likely not the last Riot Games hosted event in the Valorant esports ecosystem, and it will give us a good look into what sort of potential the new title holds.
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