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The Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters saw the Sentinels defeat FaZe Clan during the Grand Finals with 290,241 peak viewers across both YouTube and Twitch, according to analytics platform Esports Charts. However, most of the viewership did not come from the official Valorant channel. Instead, popular content creators like Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek, Ali “Myth” Kabbani, and Richard Tyler “Ninja” Blevins contributed over 60% of the concurrent viewership by co-streaming the event.
Co-streaming Valorant Masters on Twitch
Riot Games first created the co-streaming pilot program in 2018 with North American League of Legends events and has since expanded it to other titles like Valorant. The program enables content creators and professional players to rebroadcast the official stream on their personal Twitch channel – enabling them to add their own commentary.
It has been a great way to attract new fans to both esports, since many are introduced to the competitive scene through the streams. However, it has also led to criticism from those who feel excluded since one has to be approved by Riot Games to participate. Members of the community like 100 Thieves player Quan “dicey” Tran expressed concerns that they did not have the ability to watch the tournament on stream. “Unlucky boys not allowed to watch party masters, didn’t get approval :(<” dicey tweeted.
Others asked viewers to open up the official stream on the side, while also watching theirs to combat the situation.
But has it led to growth?
Stage 1 of the Valorant Masters event drew in an average concurrent 147,293 viewers, a peak of 373,101 viewers, over 5 million hours watched, with a good portion of this success attributed to the power of the content creators co-streaming the event.
In between days of Valorant Masters matches, Shroud saw an average of 20,044 (3/15) and 24,536 (3/18) concurrent viewers tune in to two of his Valorant streams. This number then shot up to an average of 72,193 concurrent viewers and a peak of 115,940 viewers on March 19th for the showdown between Sentinels and FaZe Clan.
As such, it is hard to gauge whether the co-streaming really led to that significant of a viewership increase, since it seemed like most of the existing viewers merely deviated from the main channel to get a different perspective on all the action.
Nevertheless, the addition of co-streaming has done much more than just attract new viewers. Those in the community that don’t keep up to date with the competitive scene and may not understand the analytical commentating on the main stream can still enjoy some Valorant action – therefore, retaining them as fans by way of association.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.