VCT Champs Istanbul was the biggest Valorant tournament ever in terms of viweership

The VCT Champs Istanbul 2022 Grand Finals between LOUD and OpTic Gaming saw Valorant fans from around the world tune in. With influencers on-site and Championships stakes, fans were eager to see which team would lift the trophy. Would OpTic be the first team to win two International Valorant tournaments or would LOUD be the first team from South America to lift an international Valorant trophy? The VCT Champs viewership broke all previous records and remains on record as the highest viewership tournament in Valorant history. 

1.5 million viewers tuned in for Grand Finals between OpTic and LOUD

The Grand finals between OpTic and LOUD drew over 1.5 million viewers across all platforms – to be specific – 1,505,804 viewers tuned in during the Grand Finals. The Finals series saw LOUD win 3-1 with quite a few close maps. 

The previous record for the highest viewership during the tournament was during the OpTic vs DRX match in the lower bracket finals. The elimination match saw 1,001,726 viewers tune in, the first time VCT Champs 2022 crossed a million viewers. 

Interestingly, the previous match between OpTic and LOUD was the third-highest viewership match with 875,688 viewers tuning in for the upper bracket finals. 

Viewership Stats: Twitch vs YouTube comparison and Language breakdown

The Twitch viewership for VCT Champs was 1,190,741 while the YouTube viewership, while lower, was still significant. The YouTube live stream saw 313,991 live viewers watching the Grand Finals.

VCT Champs Viewership
The VCT Champs viewership. Screengrab via escharts.com

It was interesting to see the global reach of the tournament. Of the 1.5 million viewers, only 644,092 were English viewers. There was a significant number of Portuguese viewers, mostly from South America. With LOUD making the upper bracket run and ultimately securing the victory, it was no surprise to see the boost in Portuguese viewership. There were 452,282 viewers for the Portuguese streams, almost rivaling the English audience numbers.


At the same time, the Japanese viewership was also quite high despite not featuring a Japanese team in the top 8. Zeta Division crashed out of the tournament in the group stage, losing to LOUD.

With the increasing interest in Riot’s FPS title from across the world, it is no surprise to see Valorant viewership continue to rise with each passing tournament.

OpTic in three matches with more than a million viewers

The OpTic vs LOUD game at VCT Masters Reykjavik also saw more than a million viewers.
OpTic vs LOUD during VCT Reykjavik saw more than a million viewers as well. Screengrab via escharts.com.

OpTic Gaming is now the only Valorant team to be part of three matches with over a million concurrent viewers. While the VCT Champs 2022 runners-up competed in the final two matches at Istanbul. Their Grand finals match against LOUD during VCT Masters Reykjavik saw over 1,065,887 on April 24, 2022.

How are the statistics calculated?

The viewership figures include co-streaming and the official streams. The VCT Champs Istanbul was streamed live on the Valorant Twitch channel. However several influencers also had permissions to co-stream on their channels bringing in new viewers. This provided a signficant boost to the overall viewership numbers.

The numbers do not include data from Chinese platforms, and it is safe to assume the final tally would have been significantly higher with those numbers. 

With over 116 hours of airtime, the average Valorant viewership of the tournament was 525,858, a significantly high number. With Riot Games focusing heavily on esports 2023 onwards, this number is only set to climb further.

A new future for Valorant esports


Valorant esports is moving to a franchise model with a new format for 2023. There will be one Kickoff tournament in February which will see 30 teams participating in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Fans appear in the audience at the VALORANT Champions 2022 Istanbul Grand Finals on September 18, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)

Three different regions – NA, EMEA and Asia-Pacific will play out their respective leagues during the season. The first half of the season culminates in a Masters tier event around June. The next half will see teams trying to qualify for Champs later in the year.

Earlier in the broadcast today, Riot’s Head of esports, John Needham, revealed that the game developer will announce details of the teams for the Kickoff tournament as early as next week. With things progressing at quite a brisk pace, Valorant esports’ future is looking extremely bright.

The information in this article is based on statistics available at escharts.com


Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Valorant news and updates.

Rohan - Content Editor

Rohan

Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)