Valorant has officially been named Esports Game of the Year at the 2021 Esports Awards.
Valorant has been a big deal since it was first released in 2020. Riot’s tactical first-person shooter was immediately celebrated by competitive and casual players alike for its blend of shooting mechanics and ability-related strategies. It quickly became one of the most-viewed games on Twitch, and many veterans of such titles as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch migrated to the fresh shooter.
Valorant’s esports scene quickly flourished as well. The first international LAN event, Masters Two Reykjavik, saw over 1 million viewers at its peak during the Sentinels and Fnatic finals series. The average concurrent viewership during the 52-hour event was over 488,000. Despite travel issues and the game being new to the esports scene, Valorant was immediately a top competitive title thanks to Riot Games’ support.
Every big esports title was nominated for the Esports Game of the Year category at the Esports Awards, filmed live from Texas. This includes League of Legends, Free Fire, CSGO, Call of Duty, Rocket League, Rainbow Six Siege, Dota 2, Overwatch, and even PUBG Mobile. But Valorant rose above the competition to be crowned the top competitive title.
League of Legends was a big contender, as 2021 World Championship viewership increased over last year by a whopping 60%. But voters most likely felt Valorant had more to prove and had a tougher climb to the top since League of Legends has already been an established top esport for many years.
Call of Duty and Overwatch have both been suffering from underwhelming viewership this past year. Blizzard’s two pro leagues have not been able to maintain a steady or promising viewership for an abundance of reasons.
Rocket League has continued to climb up in views but still remains obscure when compared to the thriving CSGO and Dota 2 scenes, which feature well-known teams and popular veteran players.
The Esports Awards was an impressive event this year as the industry continues to grow. Here are the winners of other important Esports Awards categories.