Riot Games’ multiplayer FPS Valorant was in a limited closed beta this past Tuesday, and there were a whole lot of people tuning in to watch the game’s Twitch livestreams. So many, in fact, that a viewer concurrency record was broken — 34 million hours were watched with 1.7 million viewers at peak, which shattered the single-day hours watched record in a single game category. For context, that 1.7 million is second only to League of Legends’ 2019 World Championship.
While one might think that the digital world is clamoring for another character-based multiplayer FPS, there does seem to be an important asterisk to these numbers; players had to watch specific streamers in order to get themselves their own key to play, and it would appear that a great number of people heeded the instructions. So perhaps it’s less about excitement for Valorant’s arrival and more that people like to get something for free; we’ll all keep that in mind when the shooter issues its next presser.