The first Masters of VCT 2023 will be held in Tokyo
As we look forward to the end of 2022, Riot Games is already working on the Valorant competitive circuit and has just announced the dates and location of the first VCT 2023. The first international competition will therefore take place in Tokyo in June.
This is the first time that a major Valorant competition will be held in Asia. Until now, COVID restrictions have led Riot Games to favour Europe, which is much more flexible when it comes to hosting international competitions. The Valorant Champions 2022 was nevertheless held in Turkey, and the announcement of a major tournament in Japan proves Riot's willingness to open its horizons.
Why Valorant Masters in Japan?
In the West, the Japanese scene is rarely mentioned, but it is probably the largest spectator centre in the world today. Despite the unconvincing results of its teams in international tournaments, the fervour of the public is the strongest there.
Japan is one of the countries where Valorant had the most difficult start. Indeed, the country only really got its feet wet in esports during 2018, thanks to relaxations of its legislation The country is experiencing a boom in both competitive games and the competitions themselves. So the country is experiencing a real boom, but struggles to find experienced players or to produce structures capable of catching up with Korea, in particular. In Japan, many professional teams recruit directly from their Korean neighbours.
In any case, the esport scene is growing exponentially, and Valorant is benefiting greatly from this new interest from the Japanese public. According to Esport Charts figures, Japan would be by far the country where Valorant competition is most popular. The country has the highest peak audience as well as the best ratio of hours watched to hours broadcast in the entire VCT 2022.
- Japan: 291,787 spectators
- NA: 216,858 spectators
- EMEA: 159,693 spectators
- Japan: 112,620 hours
- NA: 93,598 hours
- EMEA: 69,604 hours
So it's not so surprising to see Riot Games holding one of its major competitions in Tokyo.