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Riot Games Reveal Dates and Format for First Strike: Europe

Lawrence "Malystryx" Phillips

After leaving VALORANT tournaments to third-party organizers since launch, Riot Games is about to take matters into their own hands. This comes as immensely good news to the scene and the event, entitled First Strike, will kick off in Europe, with smaller regional events also confirmed for Brazil and South Korea.

First Strike

After waiting for an official Riot-backed esports division, First Strike will start in Europe. (Photo courtesy Riot Games)

As of yet, Riot Games have not revealed the prize pool attached to First Strike, but given what an incredible show of effort they put into this year’s Worlds despite the pandemic, this event could be the push VALORANT needs.

For VALORANT First Strike: Europe there will be a total of four Open Qualifiers, two per week, with the top sixteen teams of each advancing into a Play-In stage. Riot Games have already confirmed that there is no restriction on trying to compete in multiple Open Qualifiers. Both the Open Qualifiers and Play-In stage will be best-of-one single elimination, with the top eight from the Play-In qualifying for the playoffs.

First Strike

The First Strike: Europe schedule and format – (Image courtesy of Riot Games)

The format will switch to best-of-three single elimination in the playoffs, with the top four finishers earning a spot at the Main Event to be held from December 3rd to 6th. The Grand Finals of VALORANT First Strike: Europe will be a best-of-five.

Riot Games have yet to release details for sign-ups.

Brazil and South Korea also confirmed

As things stand aside from Europe, First Strike events have been confirmed for Brazil in October and South Korea in November, but both qualifiers require teams to have at least 3 players from those countries. Riot Games said the rules for the European event will be released in the coming weeks, and it will be interesting to see if they impose a similar restriction. Regardless news that Riot Games is stepping and organizing an event in Europe should lead to a surge in interest in the competitive VALORANT scene.

Back on September 23rd Riot Games announced there would be multiple regional First Strike finals taking place across “North America, Europe, CIS, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East”, so expect news on other regions in the very near future.