Riot Games Unveils Esports Tournament Series for Multiplayer Title 'Valorant'

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Riot Games
The Ignition Series kicks off June 19 with European and Japanese invitationals.

Video game developer and publisher Riot Games unveiled Tuesday a global tournament for its character-based tactical shooter title Valorant. Dubbed the Ignition Series, it is the company's first step in building a professional competition around the newly-launched free-to-play multiplayer game. 

In creating the series, the Santa Monica-based company worked with over 20 esports organizations to establish competitive events for fans all over the world. Competitions will kick off on June 19 with European and Japanese invitationals that run for three days each and include open qualifiers and show matches. 

Programs will follow for fans in North America, Brazil, Latin America, Korea, South East Asia, Russia, Turkey, the Middle East and Oceana. Each organizer will operate their own tournament with the participation of established gaming personalities and casual players. 

"We’re thrilled to pull together the best from gaming and esports to deliver a program that will showcase Valorant on a global scale," said Whalen Rozelle, senior director of esports at Riot Games. "The Ignition Series will unlock the creative potential of some of our top partners and will help us build an esport from the ground up that is authentic to the Valorant community."

Valorant, described by the developer as a "precise and lethal multiplayer game with high-fidelity gunplay," involves users controlling different agents who have unique abilities and weaponry strategies.

The game broke viewership records on its first day of closed beta, with 34 million hours-watched  in a single day and surpassing 1.7 million peak concurrent viewers — second only to the League of Legends World Championship Finals. It officially launched for PC on June 2.

"We are ready to open the Valorant Ignition Series and continue the success of the G2 EU Brawls in an all-out entertainment-filled invitational," said Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of G2 Esports. "Our partnership with Riot has helped make the European League of Legends community the force it is today and contributed to the success of the LEC, and I have no doubt that we will do the same for Valorant."

Follow events in the series here.