This year, 2023 Valorant Champions took place in Los Angeles at the Kia Forum, the old home of the Lakers. I had the opportunity to attend a day of the event and take part in a one-of-a-kind experience that I will always remember.
I would often watch the Valorant esports livestream to see my favorite teams play, but there will never be anything like the experience of getting to see the matches live. On the day I went, I got to see two close matches. America’s own Evil Geniuses played against the crowd favorite of Paper Rex, and two previous world champions, Loud and Fnatic, took the stage after. The energy in the room was unmatched by anything I’ve ever seen. The crowd would yell and cheer, as well as boo or jeer as the matches progressed. Spectators would also write or draw on paper signs to help support their favorite teams or players.
The Riot Games production team was incredible.The stage that the players competed on was designed perfectly, and the lights and music helped to enhance the experience. You could tell that Riot Games put a lot of effort into this event, and that Riot truly wanted this event to be truly fantastic to be a part of, whether you are on the stage or in the crowd.
The Valorant esports stage is still very new in the world of professional esports. Valorant, a 5v5 Tactical FPS (or “Tac Shooter”) was launched on June 2, 2020, and immediately picked up traction in the competitive gaming community. Riot Games did not hesitate to announce a global esports stage only about a year after launch in 2021. There are multiple live global Valorant events each year, but “Valorant Champions” is the true test, and the biggest competition of the year.