Valorant is already one of Twitch's most popular games and it's still only in beta. But not for long. Riot Games announced Thursday that Valorant, its new 5v5 tactical shooter, will be released officially on PC in full on June 2. The closed beta, which began April 7, will end on May 28.
Valorant is a team-based shooter similar to Counter Strike and Overwatch. One team attacks, aiming to plant and detonate a bomb, while the other defends. Its developer, Riot Games, is behind online-gaming gargantuan League of Legends, giving Valorant immediate repute. The best news: Valorant, just like League of Legends, will be free to play.
Riot Games will support Valorant with new updates, modes and characters for many moons, as the game's executive producer, Anna Donion, said June 2 begins the team's "decades-long commitment" to players. "This is just the beginning of our journey together."
Valorant is already a hit in gaming and esports circles. It broke a Twitch record on April 7, the day its closed beta opened. People around the world watched over 34 million hours of Valorant streams. Over 1.7 million people watched Valorant Twitch streams concurrently that day, the second highest of all time. (The No. 1 spot is still owned by League of Legends, when 1.73 million tuned in to watch 2019's World Championship.) As I write this, 117,000 people are watching Valorant streams on Twitch -- far more than are watching huge games like Apex Legends, Minecraft and Counter Strike.
Though the game will be free to play, Riot Games looks to make big bank through microtransactions. That's how League of Legends made $1.5 billion in revenue last year.