An exciting upcoming game marketed targeted towards streaming with a very hard to access beta? Sounds like a surefire way to get people to watch streams of the game, especially when the majority of the world doesn’t have much to do. Valorant is the second-ever game by League of Legends studio Riot Games; it doesn’t come out until late this summer, but the closed beta is receiving massive acclaim. Riot partnered with Twitch for the release of the beta, giving access keys to top streamers, while Twitch guided viewers towards these select streams. In order to get access to the beta yourself, you actually have to pair your Twitch and Riot accounts and watch some of these streams.
As a result, Valorant saw massive numbers on Twitch Tuesday, record breaking in fact. It peaked at 1.7 million viewers concurrently, which is second only to the 2019 League of Legends world championship. Apparently more people were watching throughout the day however, because Valorant tallied 34 million total hours watched yesterday, which is the most ever for a game in one day.
The game is similar to Overwatch in that players can choose from unique heroes with varied special abilities and a fun art style, but it is much more technical and strategy based, seemingly influenced by Counter-Strike. Currently, players compete in 5 on 5 battles where they can choose from 9 unique heroes, though this number is sure to increase, either prior to release, or soon after. Valorant is slated to release sometime between June and September, though it is unknown if this will be delayed like many other games have been.
At release, Valorant will be only a PC game, though Riot has not ruled out a console release for the free-to-play game. It seems unlikely that console versions will be released this year, so if it does get a console release, it will likely be next year on the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation.