Riot Games’ 2022 Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 2 finals in Copenhagen had the lowest viewership of any international tournament since the VCT began, according to analytical service Esports Charts.
The event drew an average of 317,748 viewers, despite it being the game’s first tournament featuring a live crowd. The competition in Denmark featured 12 international teams playing for a portion of the $650,000 (~£540,000) prize pool from July 10th-24th.
The figure is a substantial drop from the previous international event — Stage 1 Masters Reykjavík — which attracted an average of around 416,000 this April.
The Copenhagen event’s peak viewership of ~783,000 was also at a record low for VALORANT international tournaments. The peak was recorded during the finals between European representative FPX and Singaporean organisation Paper Rex, which was won by FPX in a lengthy five-map series.
The drop in peak viewership compared to Reykjavík’s finals is likely due to the absence of a Brazilian or North American team in the final stage, with the regions drawing significant viewership figures across their domestic leagues. The previous event culminated in North American outfit OpTic Gaming defeating Brazilian team LOUD in a clean three maps.
Nevertheless, the viewership figures will likely be noted by numerous teams that are currently in talks with Riot Games to enter VALORANT’s new franchised leagues. Starting in 2023, the publisher will create three international leagues — Asia, Europe and the Americas.
American organisations TSM, NRG, Version1, and Cloud 9 are all reportedly through to the next round of discussions.
All are likely to remember issues faced by Overwatch League franchises, who entered into expensive partnerships with Blizzard only to find viewership tapered off in the years following the first season.
Despite the fact both games are different genres, it is worth noting that the event clashed with regional League of Legends games in Europe. This was not as severe during the previous competition in April, when the LEC had concluded its playoffs prior to the VCT event.