Valorant: First Strike tournament begins with 128 teams next week

The first official Valorant esports tournament from Riot Games is set to kick off next week, as 128 teams enter and only one will leave as First Strike champions.


Since Riot Games released its first-person shooter Valorant earlier this year, there have been dozens of esports tournaments and competitions held. However, there haven't been any officially held by Riot themselves. That is, until now. Valorant: First Strike will be the first official Riot Games-produced tournament and starting next week, the field will open up to 128 teams for the opening qualifiers.

There's a $100,000 USD prize pool at stake in the Valorant: First Strike tournament, which will be produced in conjunction with the team at Nerd Street Gamers. The competition will begin next Monday, October 26 with 128 teams. At the end of Friday, October 30, only 16 teams will remain. Those teams will advance to November and four of them will earn the right to compete in December's Valorant: First Strike finals. A second open tournament is set to take place on Monday, November 11 and run until Friday, November 15. At the end of that week, 12 teams will advance to the next tournament and compete until only four remain.

The Valorant First Strike Event will run from December 3-6. That's where the eight remaining teams will compete for the $100,000 USD prize pool.

Here are the major dates to remember:

  • Oct. 26-30: NSG Open Qualifier
    • 16 teams advance to the first qualifying tournament
  • Nov. 4-8: NSG Tournament
    • Top 4 teams advance to Valorant First Strike Event
    • Next 4 teams advance to UMG Tournament 2 (below)
  • Nov. 11-15: UMG Open Qualifier
    • 12 teams from UMG advance to the second qualifying tournament
  • Nov. 18-22: UMG Tournament
    • Note: Pool includes 4 teams from NSG Tournament
    • Top 4 teams advance to Valorant First Strike Event
  • Dec. 3-6: Valorant First Strike Event
    • 8 teams compete for $100K prize pool

One of the big esports stories of 2020 has been major organizations ramping up for the Valorant competitive circuit. This is the first official Riot tournament, but it will certainly not be the last. Look for teams like the Sentinels (whose roster includes former Overwatch League MVP Sinatraa) to enter looking to make an impression and win some big money. Catch all of the action live on the Valorant YouTube and Twitch channels.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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