Red Bull & Secretlab sign on as Founding Partners
Berlin – November 24, 2020 – Riot Games today announced the VALORANT Champions Tour, a season-long competition tour set to take place throughout 2021 for its newly released competitive 5v5 character-based tactical shooter – VALORANT. The global tour will feature competitions in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and will crown a single global Champion at the end of the year.
“The Champions Tour is our next step to grow VALORANT into a global esport worthy of the passion of our fans,” said Whalen Rozelle, Senior Director of Esports at Riot Games. “We’ve spent a couple of years now talking to players, teams, fans, prospective partners, and other stakeholders, and we’re extremely excited to launch our first official season. Our focus will be on elevating and showcasing the creative and talented players who are shaping this game across the globe. Fans and players both wanted high stakes competition, and that’s what the VALORANT Champions Tour is designed to do.”
The VALORANT Champions Tour will feature three levels of competition: Challengers, Masters, and Champions. Teams begin their journey by first playing in regional Challenger events before advancing to international Masters events. At the three Masters events set to take place in 2021, top performing teams will accumulate points which will count towards qualification for the Champions event. This final stage will feature the top sixteen teams in the world and will crown a single global champion.
The initial founding partners committing to the VALORANT Champions Tour and the First Strike tournament will be Red Bull and Secretlab. Both have been long-time supporters of esports operated by Riot Games and will play a vital role in growing VALORANT from its foundational years. Additionally Red Bull has a storied history of developing unique community-focused tournaments to elevate esports players like Red Bull Solo Q. More partners for the VALORANT Champions Tour will be announced throughout 2021.
After a record-breaking closed beta that saw more than 1.7 million peak concurrent viewers on Twitch, VALORANT quickly established itself as the fastest-growing esport of 2020. In June, Riot Games partnered with more than 20 premier event organizers to create the VALORANT Ignition Series, delivering numerous tentpole competitions that attracted the attention of millions of fans.
In September, following the success of the Ignition Series, Riot Games announced its first official tournament for VALORANT, First Strike. First Strike began with a series of merit-based qualifiers across North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East to identify the best teams in each respective region. The event is set to conclude December 3-6, with live broadcasts taking place on Twitch.tv and other platforms. The winning teams will earn the right to call themselves the first official regional VALORANT champions.
The VALORANT Champions tour will continue to build on the momentum of VALORANT by leveraging a decade of Riot Games’ industry-leading experience producing best-in-class esports events and broadcasts. Riot Games is also the largest global esports producer in the world, running and broadcasting weekly professional league competitions in multiple global regions, as well as winning Emmys for the League of Legends World Championship, the world’s most viewed esports event.
VALORANT is a competitive 5v5 character-based tactical shooter for the PC developed by Riot Games. VALORANT is a precise and lethal multiplayer game with high-fidelity gunplay, a diverse arsenal of guns, agents with unique abilities, and competitively tuned maps for thousands of hours of play.
VALORANT is a free-to-play game and optimized to perform on a wide variety of PC hardware, allowing for a global audience to compete. Demonstrated by the game’s best-in-class game server quality, global infrastructure, and proprietary anti-cheat technology, Riot Games is committed to preserving the core tenets of the tactical shooter genre and upholding the competitive integrity of the gameplay experience.
VALORANT quickly established itself as a fan-favorite among the global first-person shooter community after launching its closed beta in April 2020. The game made history on its first day, breaking viewership records with 34 million hours-watched in a single day, and surpassing 1.7 million peak concurrent viewers, a peak concurrent record second only to Riot Games’ 2019 League of Legends World Championship Finals. Over the course of VALORANT’s two-month beta testing period, an average of nearly 3 million players logged on each day to play. Fans also demonstrated their enthusiasm for the shooter by watching more than 470 million hours of VALORANT closed beta streams on Twitch, the world’s leading service and community for multiplayer entertainment, and Korean video-streaming service AfreecaTV.
About Riot Games:
Riot Games was founded in 2006 to develop, publish, and support the most player-focused games in the world. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports.
As League enters its second decade, Riot continues to evolve the game while delivering new experiences to players with VALORANT, Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and multiple work-in-progress titles, while exploring the world of Runeterra through multimedia projects across music, comic books, TV, and more. Founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, Riot is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has 2,500+ Rioters in 20+ offices worldwide.
About Red Bull:
“Red Bull has been a long-time supporter of sports, esports, and gaming. Their deep understanding and appreciation of gaming culture and their desire to continually raise the bar for fans makes them an ideal partner,” said Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Esports Partnerships and Business Development for Riot Games. “VALORANT esports is a global, multifaceted sports and entertainment property committed to innovating and shaping the future of sports, and we look forward to breaking the mold with Red Bull.”
Secretlab was established in 2014 to create the pinnacle of gaming seats — each designed and engineered using the highest quality materials and manufacturing techniques to ensure absolute comfort and unparalleled support. Today, Secretlab is the undisputed world leader in gaming seats and the top choice of the world’s premier gaming tournaments, top esports professionals and nearly 1,000,000 satisfied users from more than 60 countries worldwide, winning also rave reviews from international media publications and over 30 Editor’s Choice/ Best Hardware awards. And we’re only getting started.