After giving esport organisations and tournament organizers the tools to create their own events as part of the Ignition Series, which saw over 25 tournaments held all over the world, Riot is now bringing things under their control with a brand new global esports tournament, dubbed Valorant: First Strike.
What’s next for esports after the Ignition Series? Executive Producer @RiotSuperCakes, the Head of Global Esports John Needham, and Senior Esports Director @RiotMagus share details about the First Strike Tournament. pic.twitter.com/MsOG9KQbFa— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) September 23, 2020
The tournament will see teams battle it out in regional qualifiers which are set to begin the second half of October. These intitial events, similar to the Ignition Series, will be produced by esport organisations and TOs.
Success here will see teams move on to Riot-produced regional finals in December where the top eight teams from the region will compete for cash prizes and bragging rights.
Valorant: First Strike will feature the first Riot-produced Valorant esport events. (Picture: Riot Games)
The entire event will be held offline due to the obvious constraints of the COVID-19 crisis, with the regional finals set for the 3-6th December.
Unlike the Ignition Series of events, all qualifiers will be merit-based, meaning no invited teams. Anyone 16 and above who has earned the rank of Immortal 1 is eligible to play.
Eight distinct regions will be showcased with North America, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Asia, and the Middle-East all hosting their own tournaments.
Brazil and Turkey will also have their own events.
The winners of these events "will earn the right to call themselves the first regional Valorant champions," according to a press release to announce the series' launch.
"First Strike will provide our thriving competitive ecosystem with the platform to showcase their greatness, build regional legacy, and a foundation that will support the esport for years to come," said Whalen Rozelle, Senior Director of Esports at Riot Games.
No prize money or dates for the regional qualifiers has yet been announced but more information is expected soon.