Counter Strike is a legendary esports title by Valve which has been in the scene for over 20 years. The game has defined an era in esports and changed the way gaming is perceived throughout the world. However, fans of the franchise were left in awe as a title from Riot Games which hasn’t even been officially released yet managed to destroy the all-time peak viewer count of CS:GO in only a few hours of its closed beta release.
With the initial announcement of Valorant – codenamed ‘Project A’ – back in October 2019, fans were getting the idea that the first person shooter was a direct challenge to the other titles in the genre like CS and Overwatch. The game promised several features like 128 tick servers, good quality anti-cheat and performance optimization for low-end PCs, and with the release of the alpha stage of the game, it became clear that Riot is about to keep their promises.
All these factors ensured the success of Valorant as an esport title, but if you had told someone that the game would surpass CS:GO’s all-time peak concurrent viewer count within a day of its closed beta release, they’d probably call you insane. Both fans and critics watched in pure disbelief as the number of viewers on Valorant streams kept increasing on April 7th, eventually matching the world record set by Fortnite and League of Legends.
CS:GO had a record of 1.13 million concurrent viewers during the 2018 Eleague major, which didn’t take long for Valorant to crush as they proceeded to set a benchmark of 1.7 million viewers across all the streams on Twitch.
A key factor which accounted for most of the viewers is the way Riot decided to distribute beta keys among fans. Instead of signing up for their newsletter, fans had to link their Twitch and Valorant accounts and watch specific streams in order to be eligible for a drop.
Even with the remarkable success of Valorant’s streams yesterday it is still unclear how many viewers were really there. It has been brought to light that a lot of people have been creating fake accounts and staying on the streams just to get beta codes as drops.
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