It’s been a little less than a year since the release of Riot’s Valorant beta in April 2020 and the number of players continues to climb, along with the game’s popularity.

The Valorant beta was originally only obtainable through watching a streamer play Valorant live on their Twitch channel with “drops” enabled. “Drops” on Twitch are free in-game rewards or codes that are given to users who have their personal Twitch account linked with a specific game’s account. This unique method of obtaining a beta key through Twitch drops caused a frenzy of players to flock onto the platform in an attempt to obtain one. The first streamers to get beta access were content creators with large followings, like TimTheTatMan, DrLupo, Summit1g, Hiko and more. Shortly after, beta codes were sent to lucky viewers who tuned into the influencers’ live stream.

If you need further evidence on how popular Valorant has been from the start, some estimates say found the beta logged almost three million daily players during its two month beta. The game was officially released on June 2, 2020.

The hype and popularity wavered slightly after the initial release but even now, Valorant stream viewership numbers rival many popular games on streaming platforms, garnering over 115k viewers on the Twitch directory alone. Those viewership numbers don’t include the thousands of viewers Valorant’s official esports tournaments received on Twitch. Though the game itself plays similar to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), the CS:GO directory brings in less than half of the viewership numbers. (do you have a source?)

Riot Games’s League of Legends esports league has been overwhelming popular so it’s no surprise Riot is excited about the prospects of Valorant as a competitive esport. The first official season of VALORANT Champions Tour is underway; Riot managed to create an entire league and championship tournament only nine months after the game’s initial launch.

This immediate success points to a promising future for Valorant. Version1 is excited to take part in the first season of the Valorant league, backed by a roster who have proven themselves on the competitive stage and are hungry to do so again. We can’t wait to see where Valorant takes us.