A few weeks ago, Riot Games announced the first official Riot Games-produced VALORANT tournament, First Strike. What started as two NA qualifiers, is now the top 8 teams battling for their share of the $100K prize pool, and the title as first First Strike champion.
The competition will begin on October 26 with the first open, 128-team tournament, produced by Nerd Street Gamers. The tournament will whittle down the pool to 16 teams, who will compete in the first qualifier. From there, the top four teams will advance straight to the main event, and the next four teams will advance into the second open tournament for another chance to fight for their spot in First Strike.
For any teams who don’t make the first cut, you’re in luck — there will be a second open qualifier where teams can re-enter and get another shot.
The second open tournament, produced by partner Engine Media (UMG), will start November 11. The top twelve teams will move into the second qualifier, joining the four teams from the first qualifier. From there, four more teams will make it into the First Strike event — making a total of eight teams competing for a slice of the $100K pie.
The full schedule includes:
- Oct. 26 – 30 — NSG Open Qualifier
- Nov. 4 – 8 — NSG Tournament
- Nov. 11 – 15 — UMG Open Qualifier
- Nov. 18 – 22 — UMG Tournament
- Dec. 3 – 6 — VALORANT First Strike Event
First Strike is the first major chapter in VALORANT esports, with the support of two stellar partners to bring it to life — Nerd Street Gamers, which has already partnered with FaZe Clan and T1 to power their Ignition Series tournaments, and Engine Media/UMG, one of the most storied names in both elite and amateur competitive organizing.
- NSG qualifiers — twitch.tv/nerdstgamers or twitch.tv/VALORANT_NA
- UMG qualifiers — twitch.tv/UMGGaming or twitch.tv/VALORANT_NA
- First Strike: North America — twitch.tv/VALORANT_NA or youtube.com/VALORANT_NA
“After being selected by elite organizations such as FaZe Clan and T1 to power their Ignition Series tournaments, we are elated to work with Riot in running a Nerd Street Gamers First Strike qualifier series,” said John Fazio, founder and CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. “We have built a comprehensive competitive ecosystem with our amateur VALORANT events since the game’s release, and this is an incredible launching point for what the future holds.”
“UMG has a proven history of being the hub of both elite and amateur competitive gaming, and we couldn’t be more excited to support and grow the VALORANT gaming community in partnership with Riot Games,” said Lou Schwartz, Co-CEO of Engine Media. “Between Engine Media’s tournament hosting and production capabilities (UMG) and its esports reporting and analytics services (Stream Hatchet), we look forward to supporting both Riot Games and the gaming community from end-to-end of their journey.”