Thought by many experts to be the next big thing in esports betting and gaming, Riot Games eagerly awaited shooter Valorant will go live today in a series of staggered releases across a number of geographic locations.
The game had been in Beta for several weeks, attracting the attention of a number of top esports stars, many of whom switched to playing Valorant from games such as CS:GO or Overwatch precisely in preparation for today’s worldwide launch.
A number of tournaments for the game have already been contested during Beta trials, with an increasing number of esports events being planned for the remainder of the year in what could well be the biggest game launch of 2020.
Valorant Release Times
Episode 1 Ignition of Valorant was rolled out initially across Korea, Japan, and most of the Asia Pacific Region from midnight BST on June 2nd. Twelve hours later, countries in Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa, Russia, and the CIS were able to play. These will be followed later on in the day when North America, Latin American, and South America gain access to the game.
However, it is only the PC version of the game that is available for the initial launch, with versions for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android believed to be in the pipeline for a future launch date.
In addition to the staggered release times, the full launch of Valorant will also see a number of changes made to the Beta version, as well as additional content is being made available to players, many of whom will now have the first opportunity to play the game.
Additions to the game include a new hero, called Reyna, who had briefly been profiled in a trailer on the official Valorant Twitter feedback on May 30. There are fewer details available about the new game map and the new game mode, both of which will be available when the game goes live across the regions.
Players that have invested a significant amount of time during the Closed Beta trial of the game will have some benefits available to them in the new launch. While all progress is generally reset, players will still keep anything earned in their Beta Player Pass, while any Valorant Points spent during Beta will be refunded with 20% interest added to the total.
Valorant and Esports
Today could also signify an intensification in interest in the Valorant Esports and Valorant betting scenes with a huge number of lower-level events already in the pipeline across Europe, North America and Asia in particular.
With many of the players in the Beta edition stating that they intended to switch from games like CS:GO and Overwatch to Valorant for the foreseeable future, it is likely to be only a matter of time once the game goes officially live across the globe, that the first big-money Valorant tournaments are organized for the best of the best to compete in.
Whether or not Valorant will match, or better, the appeal of esports like Overwatch, Call of Duty, and CS:GO remains to be seen, but its initial release is the first step towards a healthy future in esports.