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Why you should watch ESPN’s VALORANT Invitational

We reported last week that Riot Games would be leaving the VALORANT esports scene’s development in the hands of the community. That doesn’t mean it won’t lean on some of the biggest outlets in sports to spread the word about their new game. Starting today at 3:30PM Eastern, ESPN will broadcast the VALORANT Invitational tournament on its Twitch channel each afternoon until April 22nd.

There’s a lot of reasons to tune in, and we’ll give you just a few of them here to get you started.

Pro players will be competing

ESPN has lined up a roster of star players from other game scenes to boost interest in their tournament. Some of the names you can expect to see compete include Rainbow Six: Siege champ Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski, Fortnite star and 2019 World Cup runner-up Harrison “Psalm” Chang, and CS:GO champ Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham. Competing teams will be grouped by which game they hail from, so this will definitely be a tournament for bragging rights.

High level production for a brand new title

VALORANT just came out in beta form over a week ago, making this a quick start into high-level production for a brand new game. ESPN (and Riot in turn) will no doubt want to provide an experience for viewers that will keep them coming back, so expect a great package including pre-show and post-show content..

Sponsors are lining up

HyperX is sponsoring this event, meaning that the stakes are already high to get a piece of the VALORANT action. Greenlit Content is producing the invitational in conjunction with ESPN, and there’s going to be plenty of eyes on the show thinking of ways to forget future partnerships.

Definitive proof that VALORANT is here to stay

The event hasn’t even started and everyone’s talking about it. We’ve already spent a week debating if VALORANT is too hard for Overwatch players, or too easy for CS:GO players but either way, the conversation around the game’s mechanisms and this last-second ESPN event proves that the new tactical shooter will not be going anywhere soon. If this tournament truly “pops off,” it will be definitive proof that VALORANT is here to stay.

You can get the entire lineup of the event straight from ESPN here. Follow us on SlashShout to get more VALORANT coverage as its esports scene kicks off!

Theresa Gaffney

Theresa is a seasoned esports professional with nearly ten years under her belt developing content and running esports teams and leagues. She is currently the head coach for Messiah College's esports program and a freelance industry consultant.

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