Valorant Champions opening day delivers strong viewership, still falls short of 2022 record

Liu YiCun/Riot Games

The opening day of Valorant Champions 2023 averaged almost 490,000 viewers, one of the highest figures in the history of the Riot Games esport.

It’s too early to know if Valorant Champions 2023 will become the most-watched event in the history of the game, but the preliminary numbers are highly encouraging. The opening day of the tournament had a peak viewership of 662,693 viewers and an average of 489,608 viewers, according to data firm Esports Charts.

Both metrics put Valorant Champions 2023 as having the esport’s third-strongest opening day, only behind the 2022 and 2021 world championships.

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Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
The day 1 peak was reached during the LOUD vs DRX match

The day 1 peak viewership, hit during the cross-region battle between LOUD and DRX, is 23% higher than VCT LOCK//IN’s opening day peak. When looking at VCT Masters Tokyo, the difference is even more striking (77% increase), but it’s important to point out that the top four seeded teams skipped the group stage of the Japanese event. At Valorant Champions, all teams have to go through the group stage.

VCT Masters Tokyo had the second-lowest average viewership in international Valorant history, in part because the event’s time zone made it difficult for Western fans to watch the matches. That will not stop Riot Games from hosting international events in Asia, with a Masters tournament scheduled for 2024 in Shanghai.

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Below you can find the day one peak viewership and average viewership from all international Valorant events, according to Esports Charts:

EventPeak Viewership (Day 1)Avg. Viewership (Day 1)
Valorant Champions 2022807,007588,718
Valorant Champions 2021690,930 493,223
Valorant Champions 2023662,693489,608
VCT 2021 Masters Reykjavík605,623479,824
VCT LOCK//IN538,963 369,011
VCT 2022 Masters Reykjavík516,641363,411
VCT 2021 Masters Berlin480,130409,382
VCT 2022 Masters Copenhagen437,576304,831
VCT 2023 Masters Tokyo374,830287,503

Valorant Champions 2022’s viewership record

Last year’s world championship remains the most-watched Valorant event in history with over 60 million hours watched — almost 15 million more than the next-closest tournament, Valorant Champions 2021. It is also the only Valorant tournament that has cracked 1.5 million concurrent viewers.

VCT LOCK//IN nearly broke that record as it reached over 1.4 million viewers during the grand final between Fnatic and LOUD. The Brazilian team has been going through a slump in form and is one match away from elimination in Los Angeles after losing to DRX on Sunday.

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Valorant Champions 2023 will continue on Monday with four new teams entering the fray — T1, FUT, Evil Geniuses and FunPlus Phoenix — and either NAVI or DRX qualifying for the playoffs.

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