Valorant’s closed beta key drop system has helped Riot’s new FPS set new records on Twitch.
The highly anticipated title already has 34 million hours watched, with a peak viewership hitting over 1.7 million viewers, beating Twitch’s previous single-day viewership record. Fans from all over have been watching their favorite streamers play the new game, both to find out more about the included agents’ abilities and to get access to the closed beta themselves.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive streamer Jaryd “summit1g” Lazar has been one of those streamers playing Valorant’s closed beta. A veteran Twitch content creator, summit started to see a troubling pattern emerging. He tweeted at Riot, warning them to change courses.
Valorant. Don’t let tournaments ruin our game category like Counterstrike did. Thanks.
— summit1g (@summit1g) April 13, 2020
The 32-year-old streamer was referencing the extreme abundance of CSGO tournaments that get streamed almost daily. There are so many tournaments being streamed, in fact, that they are almost always in the top five CSGO channels, adversly affecting the CSGO channel’s balance of tournaments and streamers.
“I’m not burned out on CS. Tourneys ruined that category. Wanna know when a game is getting unhealthy on Twitch? When the top five channels every single day are tourneys,” Summit1g tweeted.
His followers eagerly agreed. One noted how they’d be lost without HLTV, unable to understand which teams were playing in what tournament and what their rankings are due to the constant competition. Another follower said the CSGO competitive scene gets a bit boring to watch since there’s tournaments “every day.”
Even some pros chimed in, including Astralis‘ Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz.
While a lot of your points are right I just don’t feel like CS is a great content game.Over-saturation is real though,as you said the tournament win feeling doesnt last more than a few days unless its a major
— Nicolai Reedtz (@dev1ce) April 14, 2020
While one would think that steady competition could to steady viewership, apparently that’s not the case. CSGO has seen a steady decline in viewership despite a recent increase in hours streamed in the Twitch category as more and more people play the game. This could be due to a number of factors, including the recent introduction of Valorant. But another reason could be the constant tournaments and the lack of content creators.
Valorant has already seen its first tournament, the 100Theives Invitational. While this got a lot of people hype to see the game being played at a higher level with some cash on the line, Valorant content creators are already hoping that Valorant doesn’t take inspiration from CSGO’s tournament format. It’s possible that Riot may be looking to CSGO for inspiration, since the gameplay is so heavily influenced by Counter-Strike. Riot has already stated that they will be taking a more hands-off approach to Valorant, unlike their death grip on Leauge of Legends esports. They’ve already started looking into forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organizers, and developers, all to build a “Valorant ecosystem.”
While Riot may be looking to CSGO for some esports inspiration, there’s no reason to worry just yet. Riot has formed and maintained a quality balance of content creators and tournaments for League of Legends, which is currently one of the most viewed games on Twitch. They obviously know a thing or two about marketing a game and creating a successful esports structure, so hopefully Valorant will also find a healthy balance.