Day 2 will see two best-of-three semifinals.
Expectations from the Valorant India Invitational Day 1 were high. With $100,000 on the lines and some of the top International teams and players in attendance, Indian fans were eager to watch top-tier Valorant. But the reality on Day 1 was different.
Despite reaching the venue nearly three hours late, assuming I had missed the first two, maybe three games, I realized I had not missed anything. As I sat in my Uber and checked the Twitch stream, well, it was offline. I checked Twitter and everyone was talking about the delays and the various problems with the production.
The venue, GMR Arena is ten minutes away from the airport, and it is a popular venue in the city. But the city, is not as popular for esports. Telangana’s Hyderabad is a bustling city however, esports events have seen greater success in other cities. Seeing the 20-odd fans sitting on plastic chairs, some busy with their phones, others chattings amongst themselves, waiting for anything to start.
When I entered the arena, the casters were busy trying to fill the void as they had been doing masterfully for the past few hours. On social media, the lack of updates from the official galaxyracerIndia account did not go well with fans, especially SEA fans who had no means of knowing when their favorite teams will play. With Paper Rex, BOOM esports, RRQ and Team Secret present at the event, there was a sizeable tournament following.
The tournament didn’t start on time, it started nearly four hours later, throwing everyone’s schedule in disarray. But the Valorant was there. With top teams in attendance, and for many of these rosters, this tournament was their debut match. Paper Rex came in as the only international team that did not have a roster change recently. And they were undoubtedly the favorites.
The longstanding roster definitely gives them an advantage said Benkai, but he was also quick not to dismiss the SEA teams. He also had a special mention for Team Heretics, who are their biggest challengers at the event.
The Valorant on Day 1 was great. The first match started with RRQ taking on Team Secret. It looked like a one-sided affair, but Team Secret put up a strong fight in the second half. With constant aggression, they were able to claw back the match into a competitive score. However, they could not prevent RRQ from reaching 13 before them.
Team Heretics marched onto the stage next, to play their next two games. The players would walk on the stage without any music, which was a bit underwhelming but it wasn’t the end of the world. By now, several fans in the audience had an inkling today’s games would go late.
With multiple content creators at the venue, a lot of cameras were pointed in every direction. One such content creator who had come from Mumbai lamented the seemingly endless delays on Day 1. However, he was eager to get some exclusive footage from the Godsquad members. Godsquad comprises several members of the former Global esports Valorant roster.
Heretics qualify for the playoffs
As the only non-APAC team at the event, Heretics had a sizeable fanbase amongst the few live attendees. Cheers went out for Mixwell when he took the mic and said a few words. Playing against Enigma Gaming, Mixwell praised the Indian players. He made special mention of their basketball skills and their amazing personalities but then went on to demolish them in-game. Heretics won both their inaugural matches with 13-4 scores, almost guaranteeing them the playoffs spot. Unfortunately, the Indian representative Enigma Gaming went 0-3, much to the dismay of the small crowd.
The final game of the day ended at 2.30 am with Paper Rex conceding a 6-13 victory to BLEED esports. The next match is scheduled for 9.30 am and Paper Rex will take on BOOM esports according to the schedule.
Day 1 of the Valorant India Invitational has been about the below-par audience, and the insanely long delays but also about the high quality of Valorant on display. Despite all the problems at the venue, the quality of the games remains top tier and fans enjoyed each and every moment.
With the weekend coming up we can expect a much better turnout. Hopefully, the production also steps up its game for Day 2 where we will see BOOM play a majority of the games.
Stay tuned to esports for the latest Valorant India Invitational news and updates.