Valorant is a first-person shooter video game for PCs (Microsoft Windows). Even though the game's development started way back in 2014, it wasn't until June 2, 2020, that it was officially released.
Developed and published by Riot Games, the same videogame powerhouse behind League of Legends (LoL), Valorant has climbed up the ranks to become a favorite among fans of first-person shooter games rivaling the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) and the Call of Duty (COD) franchise. Upon its release in 2020, it became an instant hit. Almost two years later, Valorant's popularity is witnessing exponential growth.
Valorant in numbers
According to statistics, Valorant maintained approximately 12 million active players monthly in 2021, and in 2022, the numbers keep soaring. There have been around 16 million active players monthly in 2022, translating to about 1.5 million players daily. These numbers are evidence that, indeed, Valorant has been revolutionary. Several reasons can be attributed to Valorant's popularity.
First is Riot Games' choice of Unreal Engine 4, which delivers a fluid gaming experience with excellent graphics and sound for an immersive gameplay experience.
Second is that Valorant is a free-to-play videogame meaning fans of FPS games can get into the action without spending a dime.
Finally, Riot Games has also made the game bigger by constantly adding new content, including new heroes (agents), maps, features, game modes, and other components.
Valorant gameplay and objectives
Set in the near future, Valorant is a tactical shooter game that pits two teams in a 5v5 tactical battle that requires individual skill and teamwork. The objective of the game depends on the game mode. Valorant has seven game modes: Unrated, Competitive, Deathmatch, Spike Rush, Escalation, Replication, and Snowball Fight.
While there are several Valorant tournaments and competitions, the Valorant Champions is the biggest and most prestigious tournament. The Champions is organized and hosted by Riot Games and attracts a $1,000,000 prize pool distributed to all the teams based on the rankings. Unlike the typical eSport online tournaments, Valorant Champions is an offline tournament.
So far, there has only been one Valorant Champions, the 2021 event, held from December 1 to 12 in Germany. The competition attracted 16 top eSports teams with Valorant rosters. Some of the big teams that participated in the event include Gambit Esports, Sentinels, Team Envy, KRÜ Esports, Cloud9, Team Liquid, Acend, Team Secret, and Fnatic, among others.
Just like the game itself, Valorant Champions is big. The 2021 Champions viewership peaked in the finals, when the event attracted 1,089,068 viewers, while the tournament's average viewership stood at 469,083. Interestingly, the total hours watched was a whopping 46,048,311.
Qualifications for the Valorant Champions depend on the individual Valorant eSports teams' performance in their respective region circuit point standings. As for the tournament's format, it starts with group stages before advancing to playoffs.
From all indications, Valorant Champions will be held annually as the 2022 Valorant Champions is underway. The second Valorant eSport championships are set for September 2022. The qualifiers are already underway.
Why is Valorant Champions popular?
Betting on the best eSports tournaments has become popular today. As one of the biggest esports events, Valorant Champions is popular among punters. Several reasons explain why this game is among the most popular eSport tournaments that bettors wager on.
First is the fact that Valorant Champions is one of the most significant eSport leagues for Valorant. The tournament is the most competitive and attracts the largest prize pool in Valorant eSports. Considering the competitiveness, Valorant betting enthusiasts are always waiting for it.
The other reason Valorant Champions is popular is that there are plenty of matches to bet on, from the qualifiers to the finals. For example, the 2022 Valorant Champions started in January 2022 and will end in September.
There are also plenty of online betting sites with Valorant betting markets. While it's a relatively new game, many bookies avail Valorant Champions betting markets to cater to the large number of Valorant betting fans.
Valorant betting is also easy. As an FPS game, betting on it is similar to wagering on the likes of Call of Duty and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Last, almost all the top teams participating in the major eSport tournaments have Valorant rosters. So, now that eSports betting enthusiasts have a passion for their favorite teams, they have a chance to bet on them on the world stage.
Valorant Champions' winning teams and biggest moments
As mentioned earlier, there has only been one Valorant Champions. That said, there is not much to cover in terms of winners. However, last year's event was action-packed. Here is a recap of some of the biggest moments in the tournament.
In the group stage, there were four groups, each with four teams from different regions. The group stage matches were in a best of three format. Here is how it went down.
- Group A - The first match pitted Acend against Vivo Keyd, while the second match of the group was a battle between Team Envy vs. X10 CRIT. Acend managed to beat Vivo Keyd 2-1 while Team Envy thrashed X10 CRIT 2-0.
- Group B - In the second group, Sentinels took on FURIA Esports, while KRÜ Esports and Team Liquid battled it out in the second match of the group. Team Liquid and Sentinels emerged as winners, beating their opponents 2-0, and 2-1, respectively.
- Group C - Gambit Esports was up against Team Secret while Team Vikings played against Crazy Racoon. Gambit Esports beat Team Secret 2-1. In the other match, Team Vikings shot down Crazy Racoon 2-0.
- Group D - Vision Strikers took on FULL SENSE in the last group while Fnatic was against Cloud9 Blue. Vision Strikers emerged victorious in the first match, beating FULL SENSE 2-0, while Fnatic struggled to put down Cloud9 Blue 2-1.
The quarter-finals were action-packed, with the top teams battling it out for a place in the semi-finals.
- Quarter-final 1 - Acend was pitted against Team Secret, and to the surprise of many, Acend gunned down Team Secret winning the match 2-0.
- Quarter-final 2 - The second quarter-final was Team Liquid against Cloud9 Blue. Team Liquid eased past Cloud9 Blue, beating it 2-0.
- Quarter-final 3 - In the third quarter-final, Gambit Esports took on X10 CRIT, where the former managed to win the match 2-1.
- Quarter-final 4 - The last quarter-final was Fnatic against KRÜ Esports, and to the shock of many, Fnatic was eliminated after being hammered 2-1.
Like the quarters, the semis were best of three matches and were also action-packed.
- Semi-final 1 - Acend proved to be a powerhouse in the first semi-final beating Team Liquid 2-0. This was a shocker as everyone expected Team Liquid to carry the day.
- Semi-final 2 - In the second semi-final, Gambit Esports was firing on all cylinders. It brought down KRÜ Esports, winning the match 2-1.
2021 Valorant Champions Finals
After a series of matches, from the group stage to the finals, Acend and Gambit Esports were pitted in a best of five duels in the finals. After a gruesome battle, Acend managed to beat Gambit Esports by a score of 3-2.
Acend walked away with the $350,000 prize money, while Gambit Esports took home $150,000. The good thing is that all the participating teams got something to take home with them.
Betting on Valorant Champions
Online eSports betting sites are tapping into the potential of eSports betting, including Valorant betting. For those betting on Valorant Champions eSport tournaments, below are a few things to be aware of.
First is knowing which are the best teams to bet on. From last year's tournament, Acend, the current champions, is the best team to bet on. Other top teams to bet on include Gambit Esports, KRÜ Esports, Fnatic, Team Secret, Cloud9 Blue, and X10 CRIT.
Next is finding the best online eSport betting sites with Valorant betting markets. Here, make sure a renowned betting regulatory body licenses the site. The bookmaker should also have extras such as live streaming so players can follow the action right from the betting site.
Third, make sure to understand Valorant's gameplay and rules. It is also imperative that players understand the different betting markets available and what they mean. Still, on markets, punters must understand how Valorant odds work. Remember, like in traditional betting, the higher the odds, the lower the chances of the bet coming through, and vice versa.
Last, take advantage of eSports betting bonuses such as welcome bonuses, reload bonuses, and cashback, among other promotions.
About the author
Emily, a dynamic blend of tech-savvy and casino enthusiast, hails from the snowy landscapes of Canada. With her innate grasp of cultural nuances, she ensures online casino guides resonate deeply with Canadians. Emily's spirited and engaging nature makes her a favourite among peers.