First week of VALORANT’s launch viewership pales in comparison to closed beta

It only has a fraction of the viewership that the closed beta did.

Image via Riot Games

Riot Games’ new tactical shooter VALORANT broke numerous records for viewership on Twitch during its closed beta, which started in April. But one week into the game’s official launch, the live version of VALORANT isn’t grabbing nearly the same level of viewers.

In the first seven days following VALORANT’s release on June 2, the game has posted 18.2 million hours watched on Twitch, according to Twitch statistics website SullyGnome. That’s down significantly from the closed beta launch, which had 148.7 million hours watched in the first seven days

The game came up short of its closed beta figures and wasn’t even one of the top five most-watched categories on Twitch over the past seven days. The title was outperformed by Just Chatting, League of Legends, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, and Call of Duty

The lower viewership for VALORANT relative to its closed beta came along with a decrease in star power as well. While the beta launch had strong showings from streamers like Summit1g and TimTheTatman, the game’s release hasn’t drawn the same high-profile Twitch streamers. 

Summit1g, in particular, was the most-watched content creator playing the game during the first week of the closed beta, regularly drawing more than 100,000 viewers. But he hasn’t touched the game on stream since its release. 

Meanwhile, TimTheTatman, who also attracted a notable amount of viewership during the closed beta, has only spent 10 hours playing VALORANT since June 2, averaging 23,077 viewers. 

The most success that the game has seen so far has actually come from Twitch itself. In celebration of the game’s launch, Twitch Rivals hosted its own VALORANT tournament over the weekend that attracted participation from Twitch personalities as well as pro players from a handful of shooting games like Overwatch, Fortnite, and CS:GO

Since VALORANT’s official release, the Twitch Rivals channel has led all others on the platform in the game’s category with 933,399 hours watched. Meanwhile, a number of the most successful streamers in the game, like Hiko, TSM’s Myth, and Aceu, all participated in the event and streamed their perspectives.

VALORANT’s success during its closed beta, while impressive, wasn’t without a bit of inflation, though. The never-before-seen viewership figures came along with a handful of circumstances that allowed the game to shine

Since Twitch enabled drops for viewers that rewarded beta access to VALORANT, many people watched streamers simply to try to get the opportunity to test the game out themselves. 

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic kept people inside and forced the cancellation of many in-person events. With a large segment of Americans seeking alternate forms of entertainment at home, Twitch viewership as a whole saw an increase in April when the closed beta started.

VALORANT’s fate on Twitch hasn’t been solidified, though. While the game doesn’t appear to have the type of popularity to make it revolutionary in the way that Fortnite was for Twitch in 2018, its esports potential exemplified over the weekend could be a stepping stone for the title as it matures.