Can you believe Valorant has only been around for one year? Riot Games’ hero-based tactical shooter has firmly cemented itself as one of the most popular games around. Today marks the one-year anniversary since the release of Valorant and Riot is celebrating its first anniversary with a month-long celebration that includes player rewards, revealing player numbers for the first time, and a surprise announcement.
If you had any doubts about Valorant’s popularity, put them to rest. According to Riot, an average of 14 million PC players from around the world play Valorant every month. That’s double its biggest competitor Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. CS:GO may have even benefitted from the launch of Valorant, because its player count rose dramatically in the build-up to and since the launch of Riot’s tactical FPS.
In its first year, Valorant also created an esports ecosystem that spans the globe with multiple divisions. The Valorant Champions Tour has just completed its second major event of 2021, which is also its first international event. Miraculously, all of this was accomplished during a global pandemic.
Another staggering statistic for Valorant is that over half a billion games were played in the first year. Riot now intends to build on those impressive numbers by expanding the franchise beyond PC. And the first stop is Valorant Mobile.
Happy birthday to you
The Valorant team knows it would be nothing without the support of its players. In honor of the year one anniversary, Riot is hosting a month-long celebration for players and fans full of in-game rewards and initiatives. Included in the commemorative digital swag will be a redeemable player card and a free event pass.
From day one, Riot was committed to delivering the best experience to players and maintaining what it calls competitive integrity. Essentially, fights between equally skilled players should always come down to who is better in the moment. Players should never lose because of technical issues.
To achieve that, Riot built a technical backend that delivers 128-tick servers around the world. It also created and continues to improve a custom-built netcode that delivers precise hit registration. And it is constantly coming up with new ways to combat cheaters and other undesirable behavior. Year one was all the developer and players could have hoped for. I can’t wait to see where Valorant is when its second anniversary arrives.