The Valorant Path to Pro Runs Through Community Gaming
When Valorant’s live beta was announced on April 7th of 2020, it was the beginning of a new potential powerhouse in the esports landscape. Long had Riot relied on League of Legends to assert its authority, now a new ability based tactical shooter was set to potentially become a big name. And then the teams started coming in.
The professional scene started out organically, with many different production groups and esports organizations putting on their own open tournaments for any prospective team to enter and try to prove their worth. As months went by, the scene started to form, with the cream of the crop being established and the same names dominating the top of the ladder and standings. As Valorant Challengers was formed and the first Masters lan event was held, the Tier 2 and 3 scene continued to flourish thanks to the efforts of Community Gaming.
Community Gaming has been a pinnacle for esports infrastructure for a multitude of different titles, but has really found its place in planning and presenting tournaments for Valorant. Perhaps known most for the Premier Series, this tournament has attracted teams and organizations like Rise (who just fell short in the NA qualifying event to go to Stage 3 Masters in Berlin) and Complexity Gaming to compete, giving signed and unsigned players a chance to compete for higher prize pools. The finale for that starts this month on August 28th and can be watched on the main CG Twitch channel.
Not only that, but this weekend CG has partnered with Andbox to run monthly LAN Valorant tournaments in Brooklyn with a prize pool in the thousands. The first one happened this past weekend, with Built by Carbyn taking first place and the grand prize in a stream that’s been viewed just under 2000 times. But these aren’t the only tournaments that are being run.
Enter Community Gaming Training Grounds. This is the pinnacle of what supporting the community can look like. Designed to give newer players a spotlight, but also with big prize pools that can help people make a living wage while chasing a dream, Training Grounds is that opportunity.
Broadcasted live on Facebook Gaming, young and upcoming talent are presented with ideal opportunities to show their skills on a platform that can be viewed by anyone, including scouts for pro organizations. Newer teams are given priority when it comes to being shown on broadcast to get the first hand experience that they might not get elsewhere. Players are also introduced to a world of new concepts that they may have never even thought about in the world of tournament organization.
Tournament organizers are readily available to help those new to competitive esports learn things such as checking in (making sure you mark yourself available for your games and eligible to play), completing sign up, and payment. Whatever is needed, staff are readily available to jump into one on one calls to help discuss issues or concerns that competitors are having and help them learn the process for this and other tournaments they may play in the future.
While briefly touched upon, getting paid in a timely manner is almost unheard of in the esports space with most winning teams not receiving anything until weeks, if not months after competition. But with payment the day of, teams are able to sustain themselves as the scene continues to develop.
It isn’t just players that benefit from this system. All of the behind the scenes and on-air talent that works these events are given the same experience. For freelance broadcasters and producers, it’s also a way for them to get their names out in the open while being able to make a steady income. It also gives all involved something that is important in the long run.
Being part of these events, whether as a player, caster, producer, or tournament organizer, most of these events have pages on Liquipedia, your one stop shop for everything revolving around Valorant esports. By participating in these events, everyone gets points that can lead to a full-page being created for all of the above, which is important for things such as finding a new time or becoming part of another broadcast down the line.
All in all, Community Gaming has helped support Valorant from a Tier 2 and beyond. With events like Premier to test the best of the best teams that aren’t at the top, events like Battle for NYC that help support local communities, and Training Grounds that is for young guns trying to make a name for themselves, CG created a sustainable way for hundreds of people in a multitude of roles can do what they love.
The next Training Grounds is THIS SATURDAY, so be sure to sign up ASAP to begin your journey in the world of professional Valorant.