OpTic Gaming, ZETA DIVISION and Sentinels are three of the most popular Valorant teams of 2022, according to a report by Esports Charts.
Esports Charts compiled data from the 2022 Valorant Champions Tour season across all regions, including the recent Last Chance Qualifiers, to list the most popular (by average viewership) and most watched (hours watched) Valorant teams of the year ahead of Valorant Champions.
Japanese team ZETA DIVISION and OpTic occupy the top two spots for both popularity and most hours watched. ZETA claimed the trophy for most popular Valorant team with 271,700 average viewers, followed by OpTic with 265,200.
OpTic topped the most watched category with over 26.3 million hours watched, almost 10 million more than second-placed ZETA (18.3 million).
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Sentinels fall from the most popular Valorant team in 2021
The data showcased shows how going deep in international Masters tournaments can help teams in terms of popularity. ZETA DIVISION, OpTic Gaming and LOUD lead the average viewers chart, with FunPlus Phoenix joining the Japanese team and the North American side in the top three for most hours watched. All four teams had top-three finishes at Masters events in 2022.
But there’s one team that did not make an international tournament this year (and did not have the best domestic run either) and made it into the top 10 in both categories: Sentinels. The North American giants had topped both categories last year after making every international event in 2021 and claiming the trophy at VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík.
Sentinels were fourth for average viewers and ninth for hours watched in 2022. The team averaged 159,300 viewers before popular streamer Michael ‘shroud‘ Grzesiek joined them for the North American LCQ and bumped their average viewership up to 221,900.
During the LCQ tournament, the match between The Guard and Sentinels was the most popular series of the tournament with a peak viewership of 631,664 people.
Other notable outliers on the list include G2 Esports and DRX. The European organization is 10th for average viewership but is not in the top 10 for hours watched. DRX is the opposite, showing up as sixth in terms of hours watched but not making the top 10 for average viewers.
Valorant Champions is the final tournament in the VCT circuit and the final chance for teams to showcase their brand through the Riot Games circuit. The tournament begins August 31.