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According to EsportsCharts, in the lower bracket finals of VALORANT Champions 2022, a five-map series between OpTic Gaming and DRX broke 1 million peak viewers. This marks it as the fourth VALORANT event to do so. With NA team OpTic Gaming winning the series, they will rematch Brazilian team LOUD in the finals. Both fanbases are huge, representing regions that show up viewership-wise in VALORANT. This means that Champions 2022 can beat the record peak viewership for VALORANT esports.

Another 1 million peak viewer event in VALORANT

After recent international VALORANT LANs, there were questions about viewership in the esports scene. In particular, a notable point that lingered from Stage 2 Masters in Copenhagen to the Last Chance Qualifiers was how some LCQs got higher than finals matches in the recent Masters. For example, thanks to some big signings, a match between Sentinels versus The Guard peaked higher than all matches in Copenhagen asides from the grand finals. Heading into Champions, there was some question marks around how viewership would go.

Thanks to another great run through the upper and lower bracket, OpTic Gaming came into the lower bracket finals against DRX as NA’s last hope. Especially after losing to LOUD in 2-0 fashion, there was a chance they would finish third like their Stage 2 Masters run. With fans from NA tuning in to see if OpTic could win, viewership spiked. It also helped that after consistently finishing 5th-6th, Korean superteam DRX finally broke their curse. With a great lower bracket run, they eliminated top teams such as Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix. Finally making it to the lower bracket finals, Korean fans tuned in and also held a big watch party in Korea, as shown on the broadcast.

As a cherry on top for VALORANT esports fans, the series went to map five. OpTic started with a 2-0 lead, but DRX fought back and kept the series close at 2-2, losing map five 13-10. The first best-of-five of the tournament was a perfect storm of entertainment.

Can the Champions 2022 grand finals set a new record?

As mentioned earlier, having a NA team in the finals has proven to lead to high viewership in VALORANT. The only 1 million peak viewer matches that don’t include NA teams are the Champions 2021 semi-finals between Gambit Esports and KRÜ Esports and the grand finals between Gambit Esports and Acend. Even then, you had great storylines like KRÜ Esports and Acend to bring in the fans. This time around, NA have OpTic Gaming to cheer for.

At the same time, you have the Brazilian superteam LOUD. As we know from both this year and last year, Brazilian fans are some of the most dedicated fans in VALORANT. As long as this series isn’t a 3-0 sweep, these two fanbases clashing in the Champions 2022 finals has the opportunity to peak over 1.1 million viewers and set a new record for the esport.

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