Starting tomorrow at 8am, the first ever closed VALORANT beta drops. In case you were unaware, VALORANT is the latest game from esteemed video game creation company Riot Games. You may know Riot Games from League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics or Legends of Runeterra. Although, those all take place within the realm of Runeterra, and the same general universe. VALORANT is their first adventure into unknown territory.

VALORANT is a 5v5 CSGO-esque FPS, with the same general gameplay (albeit a lot more smooth) and some shades of Overwatch with the agents having individual abilities. If you want to know all about VALORANT, watch this video created by 100 Thieves!

Last Friday was when the embargo lifted on VALORANT, and all the content creators and streamers who participated in the weekend long VALORANT event were able to showcase their gameplay. Let me just say, HOLY F*CK. It was gorgeous to watch, the gameplay with crisp as can be, and all I have to say is Riot seriously does not half-ass their games.

It also helps that they have 128 tick dedicated servers. For comparison, CSGO has 60 tick servers in matchmaking and Call of Duty runs on a mere 12 tick…so what that means is the server updates 128 times per second instead of 60 or 12 times. Theoretically, you could get shot and killed on someone’s screen in Call of Duty before it even happens on yours with 12 tick servers. This is HUGE for VALORANT to have such high tick servers, as competitive players need higher ticks to ensure accuracy and competitive integrity.

You might be wondering what this all means for the game and how it will compete. Well, VALORANT streams were live for about 8 hours Friday, and the peak viewership that I personally remember seeing off the top of my head was around 928,000 viewers (purely on Twitch). Of course, that was all recorded gameplay too, none of it was live. That’s INSANE. It dwarfed every other game on Twitch. Granted there were beta drops turned on Friday, and there will be tomorrow as well. So the viewership will be a bit skewed.

That being said, I don’t expect the numbers to dip that low anyways. There have been pros dropping out of all different sorts of games in anticipation for VALORANT. Apex Legends, CSGO, Overwatch, you name it. The anticipation for this game is out of this world. Can it be a killer? At this rate, I wouldn’t put it out of the question. Viewership for CS isn’t as high as it used to be, and the OWL shot themselves in the foot with a YouTube exclusivity deal. With the clusterf*ck that Blizzard is lately, Riot Games is taking the war to them and could quite possibly kill Overwatch.

There will always be those dedicated fans to their respective games, but VALORANT is easier to watch, easier to understand, easier to learn (more than likely) and it’s free to play. With how successful League of Legends is and how successful Teamfight Tactics and Legends of Runeterra are becoming, it’s not looking good for anyone who tries to compete with Riot Games. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be up at 8am tomorrow watching streams trying to get my fix in and hopefully a beta drop.

With 25k drops Friday, and only 75k tomorrow, the chances are slim, but hey, anything is possible! See you on the battlefield, friends.