VCT LOCK//IN opens to strong viewership numbers

Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Valorant fans turned up in large numbers on the opening day of VCT LOCK//IN — a strong indicator that the event is on course to be a massive success.

VCT LOCK//IN posted impressive viewership numbers during the event’s opening day, averaging 369,000 viewers and peaking at almost 540,000 viewers, according to statistics website Esports Charts.

The most popular match of day one pitted NRG against KOI — a clash that reignited one of esports’ biggest rivalries, between Europe and North America. KOI owner Ibai Llanos is one of the many streamers and content creators with whom Riot Games has partnered to co-stream matches throughout the tournament.

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Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
NRG’s match against KOI peaked at almost 540,000 viewers

The second match of the day, featuring Giants Gaming of Europe and Detonation FocusMe of Japan, peaked at 376,750 viewers. Reigning world champions LOUD were initially scheduled to face Gen.G on February 13 before the match was rescheduled due to health reasons.

VCT LOCK//IN had the fourth-best opening day in Valorant history in terms of peak viewership, only behind VCT 2021 Masters Reykjavík, the game’s first international event, and the two Valorant Champions events.

Below you can find the day one peak viewership and average viewership of all international Valorant events, according to Esports Charts:

EventPeak Viewership (Day 1)Avg. Viewership (Day 1)
Valorant Champions 2022807,007588,718
Valorant Champions 2021690,930 493,223
VCT 2021 Masters Reykjavík605,623479,824
VCT LOCK//IN538,963 369,011
VCT 2022 Masters Reykjavík516,641363,411
VCT 2021 Masters Berlin480,130409,382
VCT 2022 Masters Copenhagen438,149304,831

VCT LOCK//IN’s hot start

Day one’s viewership numbers are particularly impressive if one considers that the tournament is regarded by players, Riot, and fans as a competition to showcase all 30 partner teams.

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The event’s single-elimination format — a decision made out of necessity due to the high number of participating teams — has come under intense scrutiny from many quarters.

cloud9 valorant rosterRed Bull
Cloud9 will play their first match today, against Paper Rex

VCT LOCK//IN is seen as an appetizer before the actual season begins with the international leagues in EMEA, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The winner of the Brazilian event will grant their region an extra spot at VCT Masters Tokyo.

Viewership is expected to only increase as VCT LOCK//IN progresses, especially when teams with a massive following, like Sentinels, LOUD, Karmine Corp and ZETA DIVISION, take to the server. The Japanese side topped an August 2022 ranking by Esports Charts as the most popular Valorant team in the world prior to the season-end event, Valorant Champions 2022, with an average viewership of 271,700 people.

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Day 2 of VCT LOCK//IN is headlined by a mouth-watering clash between Cloud9 and Paper Rex, scheduled for 11pm GMT/3pm PT. Follow our coverage of the event here.