VCT LOCK//IN hits new viewership peak in NRG vs LOUD thriller

Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

VCT LOCK//IN Brazil treated fans to a rematch of the Valorant Champions 2022 final – and viewership soared.

The VCT LOCK//IN Alpha Bracket came to an end on February 19 with LOUD and DRX progressing to the semi-finals after moving past NRG and Talon, respectively.

The match between LOUD and NRG rekindled one of Valorant’s greatest rivalries. The two teams faced each other six times at international events in 2022, when the core of NRG’s roster still played under OpTic Gaming. The 2022 Valorant Champions grand final, which saw LOUD run out 3-1 winners, still holds the record for the most popular match in the game’s history with a peak of over 1.5 million viewers.

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With the history between the two teams and VCT LOCK//IN’s do-or-die format, all the rows in the Ginásio do Ibirapuera were filled by local fans cheering on LOUD, one of Brazil’s most popular organizations. And online, people tuned in by the hundreds of thousands as the match peaked at 879,849 viewers, according to statistics website Esports Charts.

Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
LOUD vs NRG was the sixth-most popular match in Valorant esports history

The all-Americas clash boasted the sixth-highest peak viewership in Valorant matches, confirming the success that VCT LOCK//IN is enjoying among the game’s fans. The Brazilian event had the fourth-best opening day in terms of peak viewership in the esport’s young history, only behind VCT 2021 Masters Reykjavík and the two Valorant Champions events.

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MatchEventPeak Viewership
OpTic vs LOUDValorant Champions 20221,505,804
Gambit vs AcendValorant Champions 20211,089,068
Sentinels vs FnaticVCT 2021 Masters Reykjavík1,085,850
Gambit vs KRÜValorant Champions 20211,060,257
OpTic vs DRXValorant Champions 20221,001,726
OpTic vs LOUD Valorant Champions 2022875,688
Paper Rex vs EDG Valorant Champions 2022860,353
Sentinels vs KRÜValorant Champions 2021844,387
Sentinels vs G2VCT 2021 Masters Berlin811,370

Seven of the matches on the list feature at least one North American team, which speaks to the popularity of Valorant in the region. With Cloud9, Evil Geniuses and NRG all sent home already, there are now only two North American teams still in contention for the VCT LOCK//IN trophy: Sentinels and 100 Thieves.

VCT LOCK//IN will continue on February 22 with the Omega bracket. The first match will see Team Liquid face Team Secret, followed by the highly-anticipated clash between NAVI and KRÜ Esports.