Riot Games has been meeting privately with a host of gaming organizations in recent weeks, sources say, giving the teams a rundown of the esports plans for its new first-person shooter title, VALORANT.
The free-to-play tactical shooter has started generating massive buzz in the gaming world after debuting live action for the first time this week with its closed beta private test, which is available for esports pros, streamers, and media.
The game will be available to everyone sometime this summer, but has already nearly broken Twitch’s all-time concurrent viewership mark, underscoring VALORANT’s potential as an esport.
However, while some in the gaming industry predicted that VALORANT wouldn’t get into the esports realm for a year or two after the game was released, sources say that Riot has already been meeting with prominent organizations to give them the roadmap for the competitive side of VALORANT.
The exact amount of teams that Riot met with and the plans it unveiled in the meetings was unclear, as Riot has put the organizations under non-disclosure agreements. Riot could do anything from just put together some tournaments around VALORANT to the more intricate step of setting up a franchised league.
Riot declined comment.
The meetings are notable because Valorant is being seen as a potential challenger to Overwatch League and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Riot’s esports plans for Valorant could potentially make for an even more crowded field of games jostling for top players, sponsorships and media rights.
The game drew 1.7M concurrent viewers on Twitch in the first day of the beta test on Tuesday, nearly beating League of Legends’ all-time record of 1.74M, and it got up to 1.5M on the second day Wednesday.
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