As VALORANT gains more and more popularity, it was one of the most watched esports last month. The new shooter from Riot Games capitalized on its newfound fame by having tournament after tournament dedicated to the game. April saw almost 80 new events with broadcasts on popular streaming sites such as Twitch, Mixer and YouTube. Many of these tournaments were held in Europe and North America, and in total saw a collective 7.08 million hours watched. Those are some big numbers!
These numbers come from big tournaments such as the G2 Esports European Brawl, Cascade Leagues Weekly Cup and LVP King of the Beta. America saw the ESPN Esports Invitational and NRG and Friends Tournament which also garnered some huge numbers. Not only thanks to these tournaments, but the fact that many of the biggest gaming streamers in the world are playing the game, along with the fact that just watching the game can get you a beta key, are both huge draw factors to people watching.
VALORANT is currently in closed beta and players in Europe and North America are the only ones eligible to play in it. In order to play, players will need to get themselves a beta key that can be earned from watching any streamer currently playing the game. Before you’re able to play though, you’ll need to install Riot’s new anti-cheat measure called Vanguard, one that has been hailed as the most secure anti-cheat to date.
With the complete and total lack of sports around the world right now, certain disciplines are taking to the internet to get their fix and to ensure that competitive sports reign supreme. In this case, competitive esports still reigns supreme, as the Spanish Grand Prix went Virtual on Sunday evening. Twenty racers from across the globe joined up to take part in the race being held on Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the virtual world of Formula 1 2020.
George Russell, the British Formula One driver for Williams showed that his skills on the track were immediately transferrable to the screen as he suffered from a terrible start since making pole position in the qualifiers. Russell slipped down to fifth place but kept slogging away and on lap 20 of the race, he set the fastest lap of the race, closing in on the top spot.
Charles Leclerc, the leader at that point in time, was looking to close out an early victory in the race, but managed to get himself a three-second time penalty for infractions of the track, only getting himself a further penalty on the final lap again, allowing Russell to take the number one spot. Leclerc himself is a Formula One driver for Ferrari, and Esteban Gutierrez, former F1 driver and current test driver for Mercedes, came in third.
Sticking to racing, Rocket League is making headlines with the Rocket League European Spring Series heading to BBC Sport. BBC is not the first broadcaster to decide to start showing off esports as many others seem to be doing the same. Last week saw ESPN host its own competition, with Sky Sports hosting the FIFA ePremier League Invitational a few weeks before that too!
The Spring Series event on BBC had a great turnout and saw teams from all over Europe competing for the top spot and a prize pool worth $125,000. Renault Vitality took the win overall with Dignitas in second and Endpoint in third. Renault Vitality had a clean sweep over 2nd place Dignitas, beating them 3-1 on Neo Tokyo, 2-1 on Mannfield at Night and 2-0 on Urban Central. After dropping down, Dignitas suffered two losses in a row against Endpoint, falling a goal behind on each game, and then pulled back a recovery to win four games on the trot. The first two games went into overtime and saw Endpoint sneak ahead heading into the third game.
Both Urban Central and Forbidden Temple, went into overtime too which gave Dignitas to close out the series well, giving them the edge over their opponents when all was said and done.