LOUD are the new Valorant Champions of 2022. The final chapter of the VCT took place at the Volkswagen Arena in Istanbul, and the grand final was held between OpTic Gaming and LOUD on September 18. A 3-1 result saw LOUD crowned, their visibly emotional players wiping away tears as they tore off their headsets.
A New Valorant Record
The rivalry between the two teams is at its peak, and the VCT grand final became their sixth meeting of the year. The build-up for the clash was immense, the series going on to break the Valorant peak viewership records by a comfortable margin. The final saw a total 1,505,804 viewers tuning in live, out of which only 644,092 were from English-speaking nations with viewers from Portuguese streams alone accounting for almost half a million of those.
Another surprise was that the Japanese viewership was also quite high despite. Zeta Division crashed out of the group after a loss to LOUD, but there were still plenty of viewers from the island nation despite the absence of their team in the top 8.
There was some concern regarding the viewership numbers of the VCT Masters in Copenhagen. Despite it being the first VALORANT event in front of a live audience, a milestone in the game’s history, its online broadcast of the event peaked at 786,185. This was for the grand finals between the champions FunPlus Phoenix and Paper Rex, and peak viewership figure was the worst in the history of international VALORANT tournaments to date.
This was probably owing to the fact that the teams from Brazil and Japan, who form the backbone of the Valorant viewership, were eliminated early. Valorant tournaments haven’t done great this year in terms of viewers, with the VCT Masters both in Copenhagen and Berlin unable to broach the one-million mark. The tournament in Germany attracted the biggest audience up until the Championships, averaging 389k and peaking at 811k.
However those doubts have all been dissolved after stats of this year’s Championship were revealed. It featured almost 526k average viewers and 1.5 million peak viewers, a big step up from last year. Up until now the Stage Two Masters in Reykjavík held the record for the highest viewership, with 488k on average and 1.08 at its peak.
Fantastic Grand Final
The LOUD v Optic grand final surpassed it impressively, the peak audience growing by almost 32%. In addition, the competition saw a significant increase in the number of hours watched as well, going from 46,048,311 to 60,780,370 overall.
It’s heartening to see how the Valorant viewership has burgeoned, more so considering the growing interest of emerging nations. Game developers Riot have been keen to grow their audience, and hit upon the fail-safe policy of flying in some of Valorant’s most popular streamers, such as Tarik to the tournament.
Over 130k people attended his co-stream, and grew in number as brought on more guest streamers to take over his feed. Tarik, as well as another prominent streamer Shroud made a number of appearances on the official Valorant Twitch feed during the course of the event. The primary Twitch broadcast has a deceptively low viewership of between 230k and 270k. Over 130k people watched Tarik’s co-stream, and as the event progressed, other guest streamers took over his feed.
Riot has announced a new franchise model with a new format for 2023. A Kickoff tournament next February will see 30 teams taking part in Sao Paulo, Brazil. John Needham, Riot’s head of esports revealed that the details of the teams for Kickoffs will be revealed next week. Teams from three different regions – NA, EMEA and Asia-Pacific – will play their respectively leagues during the season, the first half of which will culminate in Masters tier event in June.
Considering that there are many months to go before the esports tournament, it shows that Riot is keen to keep things moving along at a brisk pace – and the exponential growth in Valorant viewership is proving it’s paid off, and the future looks bright.