Valorant First Strike: Riot announce global esports tournament - Dexerto

Valorant First Strike: Riot announce global esports tournament

Published: 23/Sep/2020 16:00

by Andy Williams


Riot Games are making the next step towards evolving Valorant esports with First Strike — a Riot-produced global tournament designed to recognize the best teams in their region.

As part of growing an organic esports ecosystem for Valorant, Riot tested the water with the Ignition Series of events. After an incredibly successful global campaign — in which over 20 premier event organizers dished out over $572,000 in prize money — Riot have decided to take the next step towards making Valorant esports the best in its class.


On September 23, Riot Games announced First Strike: a Valorant tournament organized and operated by Riot themselves. The global event will provide opportunities for players from around the world to quite literally rise through the ranks in a bid to be crowned regional champions.

So what’s the mission? Riot are looking to leverage Valorant esports and build on the momentum from the Ignition Series, as we continue to see Valorant grow at an exponential rate. First Strike will be the perfect stepping stone and will provide a foundation which Riot can build upon for years to come.

Riot Games' First Strike Valorant tournament.
Riot Games
Valorant’s First Strike is a step in the right direction for the shooter’s rapidly growing esports scene.

How will Valorant First Strike work?

First Strike will be a global set of tournaments, composed of regional finals taking place around the world (regions listed below). A series of merit-based qualifiers will draw to a close at Riot-produced regional finals in December — where the top eight teams within each domain will battle it out to be crowned their region’s First Strike champions.

Who can enter First Strike events?

Players aged 16 and above who have earned a rank of Immortal 1 will be eligible to compete in the qualifiers. So time to grind and get your roster of players together!

When do First Strike qualifiers start?

Regional qualifiers will begin in the second half of October (dates, rules, and policies to be confirmed). These events will be run by premier esports organizations within each region.

Valorant player shooting Jett on Ascent.
Riot Games
First Strike will showcase who’s truly the best team in each region, via Riot’s merit-based qualifying system.

Which regions are taking part in First Strike?

  • North America.
  • Europe.
  • CIS.
  • Turkey.
  • Asia.
  • Oceania.
  • Brazil.
  • Middle-East.

When are the First Strike regional finals?

Eight teams will meet in each region’s finals between December 3-6.

Will First Strike be online or offline?

Due to the current ongoing travel restrictions imposed internationally, First Strike will be restricted to online events in each region.

Taking Valorant esports to new heights

Speaking in their press release, Riot Games’ Senior Director of Esports, Whalen Rozelle expressed how this is the next logical step in the right direction for their tactical shooter. “Valorant is a deeply competitive title with global appeal and the necessary elements to become the next premier esport.


“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.”

“Esports remains one of the best investments we can make to support our community for the long term,” said Anna Donlon, Executive Producer of Valorant. “As we’ve already seen from the Ignition Series, there’s a huge demand and hunger for Valorant to be played at a professional level, and we’re so excited to be starting that journey with fans, players, and organizations.”


Donlon continued: “As a development team, supporting the competitive world of Valorant is one of our top priorities, and we are committed to this journey.”

With that said, some considerable changes will be coming which are designed to improve Valorant’s spectator and casting experience in future updates. In addition, esports integration into Valorant’s Competitive mode will be coming to supplement the First Strike global event structure. So it goes without saying that Riot are fully invested and the future is bright for Valorant esports.


Valorant First Strike Europe qualifiers: Schedule, eligibility, format

Published: 7/Oct/2020 17:06

by Jacob Hale


Valorant developers Riot Games have announced First Strike: Europe, the first-ever Valorant tournament wholly produced by Riot, set to kick off in November with some of the region’s best talent.

Since Valorant launched in June, it has become one of the most exciting games in esports, with players from all different titles migrating to Riot’s first-ever FPS. Some of the biggest competitors from the likes of Overwatch, CSGO and more are looking to make a name for themselves in the new shooter.


As a result, we’ve already seen some incredible talent, tense moments and top performances in a competitive setting, but now it’s becoming a little more official with the announcement of this highly-anticipated tournament.

So, with First Strike: Europe around the corner, here’s everything you need to know to tune in to the tournament, and even get involved yourself.

Valorant First Strike art
Riot Games
First Strike is the first Valorant tournament organized entirely by developer Riot Games.

Valorant First Strike: Europe schedule

Open qualifiers for First Strike take place from November 9-22, giving teams around two weeks to stave off the best competition in the region and qualify for the main event.

The schedule for Open Qualifiers will be as follows:

  • Week 1
    • November 9-10: Qualifier A
    • November 11-12: Qualifier B
    • November 13: Play-In #1
    • November 14-15: Playoffs
  • Week 2
    • November 16-17: Qualifier C
    • November 18-19: Qualifier D
    • November 20: Play-In #2
    • November 21-22: Playoffs
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule.

After qualifiers have concluded, the main stage will be held from December 3-6. Here are the dates for each part of the main event:

  • December 3-4: Quarterfinals
  • December 5: Semifinals
  • December 6: Final
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule.

Eligibility for Valorant First Strike: Europe

As the name suggests, the Open Qualifiers for the tournament are open to (almost) anybody. You don’t have to be a pro player to sign up, but you have to be over the age of 16 and you will need to reach the rank of Immortal 1 by the time you register.

Riot haven’t specified how people can apply and register for the tournament yet, but advise in their announcement that full rules for the event and how to apply will be available in the coming weeks — and we’ll be sure to update this page as soon as we know.

Valorant First Strike: Europe tournament format

Valorant Icebox act 3 new map
Riot Games
Will we see much of new Act III map Icebox in the First Strike tournament?

The tournament format is fairly simple to follow throughout, from the qualifiers right up to the main event. Here’s how the single-elimination tournament works:

  • Qualifiers and Play-Ins: Best of 1
  • Playoffs: Best of 3
  • Quarterfinals and semifinals: Best of 3
  • Finals: Best of 5

With best of 1s in qualifiers and play-ins we might see some upsets, but finishing the tournament on a best of 5 means we really will see the two best teams in Europe fight it out and showcase their talent across all maps, proving how much they’ve mastered the game so far.

With G2 Esports undoubtedly the strongest team in the region since competition started, the main question now is whether they can prove it in Valorant’s biggest tournament yet.