The Valorant First Strike tournament has just recently concluded around the world. Almost all of the Riot Games regions have recently crowned their first-ever domestic champions and with that, the future of Valorant Esports in the future is looking exceptionally promising. With the game being almost 6 months old, the results of its first major domestic tournament is already an extreme success compared to a lot of other esports titles with a lot more time invested to build the structure to do so.
Valorant First Strike
The First Strike tournament is basically the highest-tier tournament within a region. The participants of the Valorant First Strike tournament is selected via two sets of qualifier tournaments. The top performing teams from each of these qualifier tournaments will be placed directly into a Top 8 Playoff Bracket against other teams with lower standing teams in the opposite qualifier match. This means that the two best teams in these two qualifier tournaments will not face off against each other until the finals.
The format of this Grand Final Tournament is definitely a step up compared to the League of Legends regular season format where even the lowest standing teams have a chance to make it into the playoffs. Of course, that is because Valorant follows the traditional FPS tournament format. This tournament takes place in all of the known Riot Games-affiliated regions with the addition of some countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Comparing Valorant First Strike Against Other FPS Esports
The main highlight of Valorant that some other FPS Esports don’t have is that it features a lot of elements that people can talk about. For example, each map is differentiated by each team’s agent choice. Agents provide an additional sense of strategy to the game by introducing team compositions and agent synergy. Valorant essentially uses the elements that make CS:GO and extremely competitive esports and combines it with the fun elements of using skills and abilities like that of Overwatch and Apex Legends.
For a long time, Valorant has been mocked for being a cheap knockoff of various popular FPS titles but Riot Games made sure to shut up the critics with such a successful launch. Even during a global pandemic, Valorant was able to draw a lot of viewers on Twitch by allowing popular personalities like Myth and Ninja to co-stream the tournaments. This shows how much Riot Games gives a lot of freedom and importance to its community as well as how they are able to use that to their advantage.
The Viewership Factor
Valorant is extremely relatable to watch even if players aren’t familiar with the traditional FPS esports tournaments. For players that do watch esports and have been following certain players for a long-time, it’s even more relatable to watch since a lot of famous personalities in other FPS titles have switched the direction of their careers towards Valorant. We’re not only talking about CS:GO, players who made their names in Overwatch. Apex Legends, and Rainbow 7 have also found their way into the pro scene.
The main factor that makes Valorant esports so fun to watch is that Riot Games has allowed popular streamers to hold Viewing Parties which make it twice more fun. If you don’t fancy the original broadcast that feature some big-name casters and analysts, you can always go on another channel on Twitch like Myth or Ninja to upgrade the experience. In fact, both those channels which were mentioned had a higher viewership count by themselves compared to the original Riot Games broadcast.
100 Thieves’ Huge Victory
Over 2 months ago, no one would have thought that 100 Thieves would be the ones to take home the domestic championships. The team showed a huge improvement over the past few months and showed up clutch during the Qualifier tournaments and the First Strike finals. 100Thieves, led by Hiko, climbed up the mountain beating big names likes T1, Sentinels, and TSM in the grand finals where they defeated them in a decisive manner 3-1.
The biggest factor about 100T and TSM finals is the large contrast of playstyles wherein TSM likes to play a triple-duelist comp while 100Thieves prioritizes their initiators. 100Thieves playing with full-information before diving right into the fight allows them to determine how they’re going to retaliate against an extremely aggressive team like TSM who can outmaneuver them when it comes to individual skills.
The Valorant First Strike North American MVP title was eventually given to Hiko for his excellent performance throughout the tournament but a lot of names also came up big in the tournament. 100T Asuna revealed an extremely aggressive playstyle that made him look like he was charging into a fight like a crazed lunatic but somehow still getting the kills. Dicey, Nitr0, and Steel also contributed to the big W and showed the entire tournament what it meant to be a team.
The Future of Valorant Esports
You already know that we’re gonna say we favor the future of Valorant Esports not just in North America, but also around the world. Thanks to the efforts of everyone at Riot Games, Valorant has become an extremely prominent game in the very few months that it has gone live. Aspiring pro-players are slowly finding the motivation to be compete in next year’s competition and players from other games are also finding more interest in the game.
Valorant may be filled up with former pros from other games to build the structure of its first league, but we all know that these players only have a few more years left in them. Eventually, younger players who started out in Valorant will take over the scene and one name will be rising above the competition. Everybody is waiting for the player they can call “The Faker of Valorant” and when that day arrives, everyone will see how much Valorant has grown over the years.
When will the next Valorant First Strike take place?
First Strike is the name of Valorant’s very first major domestic championships. There is no specific date at which the next tournament will take place nor is there any guarantee that the tournament will still be called “First Strike”. However, we can expect that the next tournament will take place within the next 5-8 months.