Valorant Aims To Be The Next Big Thing In eSports

By Ben Hamill - May 12 2020
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Valorant Aims To Be The Next Big Thing In eSports

Riot’s Valorant may still be in its closed beta phase, but that doesn’t mean that the new tactical shooter game released by the creators of League of Legends isn’t perfectly primed to become the next big franchise in the multi billion-dollar a year industry that is the world of competitive video gaming, or eSports. In fact, the game best described as a mix of “Overwatch” and “Counter Strike” nearly broke the internet when it smashed Twitch records when its closed beta launch went live. Nearly 2 million concurrent users watching streams of a closed beta version of a game isn’t exactly what you’d refer to as commonplace. And we’re willing to bet crazy money on the fact that Valorant’s magnificent opening scene wasn’t the makings of it being 100% free to play either.

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What also deserves more than a passing consideration is that Valorant is the first big-name new release from the studio behind the now-eSports-cult-classic League of Legends. What’s more, it marks for Riot a venture into a whole new genre. Its online, its competitive and its team-based multiplayer shoot-em-up all the way.

To reiterate: its not yet graduated out of closed-beta.

Beginnings Tell All

The story so far points directly at Valorant becoming one of the biggest competitive video games ever launched. And it’s a plausible scenario not at all lost on the likes of eSports giant Sentinels. The organisation caused quite the stir in the pot when a little over a week ago it signed one of the first professional Valorant eSports teams. The four-man-band is made of experienced competitive video gaming players.

The biggest name on the squad is of course Jay “Sinatraa” Won, the player recognised as possibly the best Overwatch player in the world, having last year won the Overwatch World Cup title as well as the Overwatch League title playing for Team USA and San Francisco Shock, respectively. So why then the sudden move to a game not even out of its eSports diapers? He lost passion for Overwatch, says Won.

Banking On Zero?

Strange though it may seem to leap head-first into a game not quite part of the eSports scene yet, it makes 100% sense to get in first and early, says Sentinels CEO Rob Moore. It sure beats waiting until a game has grown into everything that makes that game a big league attraction, as that would mean having to fork out millions of dollars for a franchise.

As for the right now, waiting it out to see how it all pans out is the best possible plan, according to Moore. If it doesn’t work out quite as hoped, its not exactly millions lost. But if it does, well, then that’s an entirely different story altogether.

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