Valorant has captured the imagination of millions since its release in June of last year, and with Riot Games at the helm, its ambitions and ultimately success as an esport was never really in doubt.
The evidence of that success is there for all to see; the game's most celebrated players have become household names, viewership of the last Masters held in Reykjavík - the game's first international LAN - peaked at over 1 million with an average viewership just shy of 500k.
Now another metric has emerged that again shows the strength of the esport, with the upcoming VCT Masters Berlin, which starts tomorrow and runs for the next two weeks, will boast a prize pool of $700,000 USD, a $100,000 increase from that seen Reykjavík.
Every team that has made it to Berlin will receive a share of the prize pool from $225,000 going to the winner to $10,000 for those who finish 13-16th.
While such a prize pool doesn't quite put it into the upper echelons of esports competitions, Riot Game's premier esport, League of Legends, boasted a $250,000 prize pool for the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, while rival tactical shooter CS:GO regularly boasts prize pools in excess of $1,000,000, however, for a game that has only recently celebrated its first birthday it's a real statement of intent.
News of this bumper bag is sure to add extra spice to a tournament that already has fans salivating. The pandemic has meant the opportunity to see the world's best teams compete off against each other severely limited (this will be only the third international LAN in the game's history), more pronounced for Valorant esports as it has known nothing but this restrictive environment.
Now viewers will know that whoever they support from the 15 qualified teams (The Philippines' Bren Esports failed to make it after visa issues) not only will there be bragging rights on the line but also a truly life-changing sum of money -- oh and a guaranteed place in the Valorant Champions event that will crown the overall winner for 2021.
VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin - prize pool
|Placement||Prize money||Circuit Points|
|1st||$225,000||Qualified for Champions|