A new game called Valorant has skyrocketed in popularity on Twitch, surpassing main categories viewers usually watched like League of Legends or the other new games such as the Final Fantasy VII Remake. This one has seemingly captivated a broad audience in a short period of time, featured on the popular Twitch channels, including TimTheTatman and Myth from TSM. It appears to be a highly competitive cross between Counter Strike Global Offensive and Overwatch, two of the most popular categories of Twitch.
Valorant is scheduled to release properly in the Summer of 2020 and is designed to be a graphical powerhouse with frame rates of at least 30 frames per second on most minimum spec computers. But if this one is not out yet, why is Valorant suddenly so popular on Twitch?
No one is actually surprise that Valorant would explode in popularity, considering that Riot Games developed it. The developer already had a huge fan base because of League of Legends, and they have leveraged it into the early success of Valorant. Collaborating with Twitch streamers, they made plans to drop a certain number of beta keys throughout the beta phase of Valorant. In order to get these keys, viewers have to link their Riot Games account to their Twitch account. After doing that, watching particular Twitch streams featuring the game gives viewers an opportunity to get a drop with the beta code in their Twitch notifications.
Chances to earn a key are random and very slim, with people having to watch Valorant on Twitch for at least two hours to be entered into the lottery pool. Watching for more hours does increase the opportunity of a drop, but with diminishing comebacks, so one who has watched for ten hours will not have five times the opportunity of one who has watched two hours. So, the best bet of the viewer to get a drop is to keep watching. It is also not clear if the number of key drops are limited to a finite number throughout the beta streams of Valorant, but rumor has it that it may be around 25,000.
People may tuning Valorant for the keys, but staying for the gameplay. This game is competitive, fun, aesthetically pleasing, and a great blend of action or strategy. Different characters of the game perform different abilities just like the hero abilities of Overwatch, such as making terrain or sending an explosion of fire anywhere on the map. Guns and equipment are also able to be purchased at the beginning of rounds in order to maximize strategic play, just like Counter Strike. In general, unlike most first person shooters, Valorant has a lot of variety, making each round feel unique and different. On top of that, the full release of the game will be completely free to play with purchasable cosmetics. Some people might think that Riot Games is the only benefactor, given the game is being played by skilled gamers and being viewed to a wide audience. However, the streamers are also benefiting a lot from the beta key drop system.