VALORANT’s North American First Strike event offers $100,000 prize pool, qualifiers start Oct. 26

The competition will be fierce.

Image via Riot Games

North American VALORANT players have a lot to look forward to.

First Strike, the first VALORANT tournament produced by Riot Games, begins open qualifiers in North America on Oct. 26. Riot is partnering up with Nerd Street Gamers (NSG) and Engine Media (UMG) to hold the online qualifying tournaments for the final event. The eight teams that advance to First Strike will duke it out for their share of a $100,000 prize pool.

Here’s the full First Strike schedule for NA.

Image via Riot Games
  • Oct. 26 to 30: NSG Open Qualifier
    • 16 advance to next tournament
  • Nov. 4 to 8: NSG Tournament
    • Top four advance to First Strike event, bottom four advance to UMG Tournament
  • Nov. 11 to 15: UMG Open Qualifier
    • 12 teams advance to UMG Tournament
  • Nov. 18 to 22: UMG Tournament
    • Top four teams advance to First Strike event
  • Dec. 3 to 6: First Strike event
    • Eight teams compete for $100,000 prize pool

Teams that don’t make the first cut in the NSG qualifiers can re-enter to compete in the UMG qualifiers. Squads interested in signing up can register for the NSG qualifier here and the UMG qualifier here.

VALORANT tournaments have been run by third-parties up until now, with organizers like B Site, FaZe Clan, and NSG hosting events. But now, Riot is ready to invest in the game’s competitive ecosystem, producing its first tournament and offering a hefty $100,000 prize pool. With the tactical shooter’s success in poaching pros from games like CS:GO, Apex Legends, and Overwatch, the competitive scene should only continue to grow.

The qualifiers for Europe’s First Strike event begin Nov. 9 and will follow a similar structure to the North American tournament.