Riot Games' new tactical shooter Valorant goes into closed beta in several regions today, and that means more players are hopping on to peep corners and throw fireballs. Access is earned from Twitch drops, and looking at its current viewership, it's already hitting some pretty high numbers.
As of this writing, the Twitch audience for Valorant's closed beta launch day has already passed 1.6 million viewers. While its gameplay reveal last Friday was pretty visible too, today's all-day streamathon is even larger.
It helps that access to the closed beta is gated by Twitch drops; if someone wants to get in and actually play Riot's new competitive FPS, they'll need to sit in a stream that has drops enabled, with their Twitch account linked to a Riot account, and hope for the best. It's predictably resulted in reports of some bot accounts lurking in streams, and claims of Valorant access-ready accounts going up for sale on eBay.
Even though some big-name streamers aren't broadcasting the action today though, it's a pretty sizable audience. As industry analyst Daniel Ahmad notes, that number is roughly comparable to the Twitch audience for events like League of Legends' own World Championships and Fortnite's black hole event, even if spread out across a number of channels.
New game from Riot + Closed Beta with limited players + Chance to earn a key by watching streams + Lockdown = Record breaking concurrent viewer number.- Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) April 7, 2020
Fortnite's black hole event hit 1.7m, LoL Worlds 2019 hit 1.75m.
Closed beta btw
Whether this translates to big success for Riot Games is another story, but the game is already surging ahead in terms of viewership. The closed beta launch included the stealth drop of a new Agent, Raze, bringing the total roster to 10.
Valorant is Riot Games' take on tactical shooters like Counter-Strike, blended with a stylish aesthetic and Overwatch-like abilities. Though it isn't set in the world of League of Legends, Valorant is still garnering some buzz all on its own, as part of Riot's push to develop beyond just its popular MOBA League of Legends.
The Valorant closed beta is live now in Europe, Canada, and the U.S., and will expand out to more regions over the coming months.