The Biggest VALORANT Events of 2021
Featured image credit: Riot Games
2021 was a massive year for VALORANT, bringing new maps, agents, and a huge number of events. This was also the debut of the VALORANT Champions Tour , the first official tournament circuit by Riot Games. With the Champions Tour still ongoing — the finale is set to take place during December — we thought it would be a good time to look back on some of the biggest events that took place this year.
Valorant Champions Tour 2021 Masters Berlin featured the current largest prize pool of this year, totaling a whopping $700,000. $225,000 of this went to Gambit Esports, who will be moving into the Champions event next month. Gambit had a dominant tournament run during this stage, only losing one game to Vision Strikers in the quarterfinals.
This performance was possible in part due to nAts, who was 3rd in damage dealt across the entire event — this is despite being the only sentinel main within the top five.
VALORANT Masters Reykjavík was another huge part of Champions Tour 2021, with a prize pool of $600,000. Tournament winner Sentinels had an impressive showing, not losing a single game — even to the ever-popular Fnatic.
That’s not to say Fnatic didn’t put up a fight, with Boaster hitting back with a cheeky 3K during the first half of map one. However, Sentinels were always one step ahead by the end of each game, with the first two maps going into overtime despite Fnatic’s attempts to take control.
Stage 1 Masters Europe took place early in the year, with teams from across the region battling it out for a chance to make it to Europe Stage 2 Challengers — and walk away with $60,000 of the $150,00 prize pool.
The finals of Stage 1 Masters Europe were some of the fiercest seen so far in the Champions Tour, going to map five after a series of close games. However, Acend’s MVP cNed managed to turn the tide with an impressive 111 kills across all five maps.
It’s already an impressive amount of winnings, especially for such a young game — and this is without the prize pool for the final event of Champions Tour 2021 being announced yet.
Naturally, this isn’t quite reaching the heights of other gaming tournaments that took place this year. The International 2021, the finale of Valve’s Dota Pro Circuit, saw a prize pool of over $40 million. This is due to the unique way this money is raised: the initial prize pool was only $1.6 million, with the rest coming from a cut of battle pass sales for Dota 2. It’s also smaller than some poker events, with the main event of the 2021 World Series of Poker potentially reaching a prize pool of around $70 million. This would lead to seven figure winnings for at least the top three, mirroring previous events. So while VALORANT may be still in its infancy in terms of tournament winnings, it does show that there is a lot of potential for increases in the future.
As VALORANT continues to grow over the next few years, the prize pools are also likely to increase too. This can be seen in other FPS tournaments, with the Overwatch League 2021 concluding earlier this year with a $1.5 million prize for the winners. While it might take a little time for VALORANT to reach those numbers, Riot Games will no doubt be supporting the game’s tournament scene for a long time.
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