Valorant Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen featured the first crowd at a major international event in the esport’s history. The players still competing at the event said that it was exciting to see the fans and hear their cheers.
Valorant hasn’t been a crowd-less esport for all of its still-young life, as local LANs and big events alike in have featured fans in attendance across Japan and South Korea, but July 22 marked their arrival to the international stage as the final four games of Masters Copenhagen kicked off.
“I personally liked it,” OpTic Gaming IGL Pujan ‘FNS’ Mehta said about the crowd in a post-match press conference. “I hadn’t played in front of a crowd in a while… it is awesome to see them being as loud as they were, I didn’t think it was gonna be as loud and as explosive as it was. So I’m happy about that.”
Across the four teams competing in the final stages of the tournament, none said that the crowd impacted their play at all. At most, the players found the delay between their actions and fans due to the delay in the stadium display slightly unnerving.
“You get a few kills and because there’s like a .5 second delay between the display that they can see, we then hear the cheering,” Fnatic player James ‘Mistic’ Orfila said after his match against FunPlus Phoenix.
“Imagine like one of us makes a mistake, right? And then you just hear that .5 seconds later and you’re like, ‘Uhhg.'”
Valorant Masters crowd favorites
Of the four teams that played on the first day with the fans in attendance, Fnatic and Paper Rex were by far the two teams cheered on the most.
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Paper Rex, who has a few veterans that have played in front of crowds before, said the chants didn’t impact them in-game. But when the match was over, they could feel the excitement from the hundreds of fans in Copenhagen.
“It was mainly after the match that the crowd really started to get to us. We were feeding off that energy, really feeling out the atmosphere,” Paper Rex IGL Benedict ‘Benkai’ Tan said about the fans. “I think having a crowd is better for us than worse.”
For FPX player Ardis ‘ardiis’ Svarenieks, the difference between support for his team and Fnatic was evident during the team’s walkout and left him a little bit scarce for words.
“When we walked out I heard ‘ohhrahh,’ I was like ‘yeah, nice little crowd’ and then I hear [Jake ‘Boaster’ Howlett] walk out next to me and it’s like ‘ooooh yeah…s**t'” he said.
The event will continue to have fans in attendance for the rest of the tournament with the Grand Final set to take place on July 24.