Riot Games’ Project A turned one on 2 June, and stats show that its journey so far has been extraordinary.
When Valorant was released in 2020, it enjoyed plenty of limelight, but it was all under the shadow of Valve’s shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Striking similarities between the two games triggered a 2009 deja vu when DotA’s rival, Riot’s MOBA League of Legends, was released. However, recent data revealed that not only Valorant has gotten shot of CSGO’s umbra, but it’s boasting insane numbers.
When Valorant came out of beta, many claimed that it’s likely a fad like dozens of game released during the pandemic. Riot’s shooter enjoyed massive traffic upon release, but unlike other games, its rush hour had a longer life.
Riot Games’ fresh and official numbers show that an average of 14 million PC players log into the game every month. On Valorant’s first birthday, the developer announced that their first tactical baby hit half a billion games played in its first year.
“For us, it is incredibly exciting to like, in just a year, be able to build that kind of momentum,” Donlon said. “And now to maintain that kind of momentum for a while now. I think it’s a testament to our dev team and all of their commitment to our player base. It definitely exceeded our expectations at launch and now has like come back to a state where we’re like ‘wow, that wasn’t just a launch-day fluke.”
The game has flocked a plethora of CSGO’s player base and has managed to beat its competitor on several grounds. Fourteen million monthly users is a massive number for a game that is still finding its footing in esports and has just completed one year.
Valorant becomes an esports sensation on Twitch in 2021
When you develop a first-person shooter like Valorant that is exceptionally tactical and has that five versus five competitive pizzazz, it’s not just the player base that holds value. In the tac-shooter universe, esports and viewership contribute just as much to the bucket. LAN events are the key ingredient to a game’s popularity in esports, but Valorant didn’t have that luxury.
Riot’s shooter dropped with a bang during the pandemic, and while it gained steam among online players, the LAN feeling was missing. The game was always popular among the fans, as most streamers jumped on the Valorant hype bandwagon, taking its viewers along on the ride. However, the LAN relish was desperately needed.
The incredible hype was expected when Valorant’s first LAN was announced in VCT 2021 Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík. The event completed the missing piece of the puzzle that made Valorant an esports phenomenon in 2021.
Recent data revealed by Streamcharts shows that Valorant managed to jump through the hoops after a whole year, becoming the second most-watched esports on Twitch. The shooter has climbed two spots in a month to acquire the fourth position in the most-watched category. The month of may was historic for Valorant, as the first LAN event gave a much-needed nudge to Riot’s shooter.
With hundreds of streamers playing Valorant and VCT: Master 2’s soaring viewership, the game managed to garner a total of 99.9 million watch hours in the month of May. Most of the numbers came from the tournament, as the tense showdown between Sentinels and Fnatic peaked over 1 million concurrent viewers, making it the most-watched VALORANT esports match so far. The second-highest peak emerged during Team Liquid vs Version1 game, which 748K concurrent viewers watched. More than double the previous record, 363K viewers scored during the NA Stage 1 Masters.
Stats also show that most of these numbers come from Twitch, which has helped Valorant become one of the biggest esports titles on the Amazon-owned broadcast site. During the first two stages of VCT, the platform contributed 86% of the hours watched live while YouTube and Facebook took up 13% and 1%, respectively. In May, The game has breezed past other popular competitive titles, becoming the second most-watched esports on Twitch. Valorant only has to beat its sister game, LoL, to acquire the esports throne on Twitch once and for all.
League of Legends boasted 173.51 million watch hours, which is a big but achievable number for Valorant considering the progress made in 365 days. Riot’s tac-shooter has heroically crushed some gigantic titles in terms of the player base and viewership quickly. Numbers and figures aside, the game also kept the esports spirit alive during the testing times of the pandemic.