Why there is a sudden interest in Chinese Valorant?

Riot Games’ tactical shooter, Valorant, has managed to not only find acceptance but also an enthusiastic celebration within the... Shubh | 29. August 2023

Riot Games’ tactical shooter, Valorant, has managed to not only find acceptance but also an enthusiastic celebration within the Chinese gaming community. This article takes an in-depth look into the underlying factors that have influenced Riot to take a sudden interest in Chinease Valorant. 

Overwhelming Support from Chinese Fans:

From the moment Valorant set foot in the heart of China, it was met with a chorus of cheers. During its initial week, Valorant swiftly secured the position of the second most-viewed PC game in China. This triumphant entrance, characterized by an outpouring of passionate players and dedicated livestream viewers, not only solidified Valorant’s position but also marked it as Tencent’s most successful PC release in the country thus far.

After obtaining the necessary license for a China launch towards the end of 2022, Valorant officially made its debut on screens on July 12, 2023, sparking excitement among players and spectators alike. Even before its official release, the signs of success were evident as Chinese professional teams began to assert their dominance within the Valorant Champions Tour.

Why there is a sudden interest in Chinese Valorant

Image via Niko Partners

The game’s impact during its debut week, as measured by Niko Partners, a respected authority on Chinese gaming trends, was only surpassed by the colossal presence of League of Legends. Further underscoring the game’s journey to acclaim were its impressive metrics – an average of 8,000 daily streaming channels and a staggering 44,000 hours of gameplay watched. In the midst of a rapidly evolving esports landscape, Valorant’s triumphant debut in China shines as a beacon of optimism, casting light on the path that lies ahead.

Viewership boost and the Valorant Champions 2023 spectacle:

The stage was set, and China took its place as a pivotal player in the Valorant Champions Tour. Leo Faria, Riot Games’ Global Head of Valorant Esports, commended the Chinese community for their unwavering support, even across challenging time zones. Valorant Champions 2023 stood as a testament to China’s dedication, with an EDG group match amassing a staggering 1 million viewers, despite the inconvenient local start time of 3 a.m.

The significance of the event was amplified by China’s plans to establish its own official VCT league in 2024, alongside similar leagues in EMEA, the Americas, and the Pacific. The forthcoming VCT China League, scheduled to make its debut next year, holds the promise of further propelling Chinese Valorant to new heights. The anticipation is palpable within the Chinese Valorant community, despite the official list of competing organizations not yet being unveiled.

Recent speculations hint at prominent names like NIP, EDward Gaming, Bilibili Gaming, Weibo Gaming, FunPlus Phoenix, and Top Esports being among those selected to participate in the league. This lineup reflects the caliber of teams eager to make their mark in Valorant’s competitive landscape, a testament to China’s growing significance in the global esports narrative. With Chinese teams like EDG and Bilibili Gaming already making waves on the international stage, the allure of Valorant resonates powerfully with Chinese fans, setting a course for continued upward momentum.

Chinese Valorant’s Ascension:

Much like Japan’s journey from initial struggles to establishing itself as a competitive force in the Valorant arena, China now stands at the brink of its own extraordinary voyage. Japan’s ZETA DIVISION triumph in Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1: Masters Reykjavik marked a turning point, shifting Japan’s status from underdog to formidable contender.

This triumph paved the way for Tokyo to host the prestigious Masters event in 2023, a decision met with resounding approval. China’s entry into the Valorant narrative follows a similar trajectory. The country’s initial appearance on the global Valorant stage came with EDward Gaming’s participation in Valorant Champions Istanbul 2022.

The subsequent VCT LOCK//IN in 2023 indicated a parallel narrative, as Chinese teams continued to test their prowess against global competition. However, the watershed moment that transformed Chinese Valorant’s course arrived with Masters Tokyo. EDward Gaming’s captivating ascent, culminating in their first international victory, injected a surge of dynamism into China’s Valorant ecosystem.

Riot’s Vision: Tapping into the lucrative Chinese market

With China’s gaming market projected to reach an astonishing $57 billion by 2027, the allure of tapping into the world’s largest gaming market is undeniable. The symbiotic relationship between Riot and Tencent underscores the potential for Valorant to establish an enduring legacy in the hearts of Chinese gamers.

As the figures speak for themselves – 47% of global mobile games revenue and 39% of PC games revenue are attributed to Chinese gaming companies – Riot’s strategic move aligns seamlessly with China’s status as a gaming powerhouse. To conclude, the sudden surge of interest in Chinese Valorant is a phenomenon driven by a fusion of factors, from fervent fandom and overwhelming viewership to Riot Games’ astute strategic maneuvers.

With the eagerly awaited VCT China League on the horizon and a lineup of powerhouse teams poised to take center stage, the trajectory of Valorant in China is set for an exhilarating crescendo.

Header: Riot Games