Riot Games has announced First Strike, a series of regional tournaments that will determine a regional champion, then pit those teams against each other to crown a world champion.
First Strike is the first tournament that is organized and funded solely by Riot games. Whalen Rozelle, Senior Director of Global Esports at Riot Games explained the tournament layout in a video posted to Twitter.
“This extended event will provide the first opportunity for players in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and other places around the world to earn the title of Valorant champion in their region.”
What’s next for esports after the Ignition Series? Executive Producer @RiotSuperCakes, the Head of Global Esports John Needham, and Senior Esports Director @RiotMagus share details about the First Strike Tournament. pic.twitter.com/MsOG9KQbFa
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) September 23, 2020
Starting in October third-party organizers will host tournaments in each of the regions participating. No official events have been attached to the series as of yet.
This format allows for both established teams and amateur squads to compete and showcase their skills. The series is similar to the one currently being used in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which is using a series of regional events to determine participants for the next major.
Players who are 16 years old and above and have reached Immortal 1 will be eligible to compete in the qualifiers, but more details on rules and policies will be released at a later date.
The Valorant team suggested that more changes to the game will come because of the new tournament, which includes improved observer features that have been requested by tournament organizers. A number of patches have already provided more support for esports production and balance changes in the game are fairly frequent.
Valorant has quickly grown as an esport, and many organizations have hosted their own tournaments that have been sponsored by Valorant. Many teams have been formed in these tournaments and pro players have flocked to the esport from games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, and Overwatch.
This announcement comes after a very successful Ignition Series, which saw a slew of tournaments hosted by tournament organizers who partnered with Riot and put forth over 25 different events around the world.