How to Watch VALORANT First Strike: Europe
It’s time to get hyped, VALORANT fans – our first-ever official tournament has begun. In VALORANT First Strike: Europe, the best teams in the region will compete to win a share of the $100,000 (€85,000) prize pool. Whether you’re a budding semi-pro or just want to watch the action go down, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about following VALORANT esports.
Where and when can I watch VALORANT First Strike: Europe?
The VALORANT First Strike: Europe playoffs will be broadcast live on Twitch and YouTube, with the Week 1 playoffs taking place on 14 & 15 November with the pre-show starting at approximately 16:40 CET each day and Week 2 playoffs on 21 & 22 November pre-show starting at approximately 16:20 CET each day. Agent Select starts at 17:00 CET on each day for playoffs.
The main event will be broadcast live daily from 3-6 December 2020. The pre-show begins a little earlier at 16:30 CET, with the Agent Select again kicking off at 17:00 CET.
Can I watch the players stream during First Strike: Europe matches?
Yes! Players can stream their POV on a three-minute delay as long as there are no official broadcasts live at the same time. That means you'll be able to watch them for most of the qualifying rounds, but not during weekly playoffs and throughout the Main Event, which will be broadcast on our official channels. Check in with your favourite VALORANT streamers to find out if they will be streaming during the event.
What happens in competitive VALORANT games?
If you’re familiar with VALORANT, the flow of a competitive game should be nothing new to you. In the qualifiers, competing teams will play best-of-one matches – meaning a standard competitive VALORANT match. In the playoffs and main event, teams will have to prove their longevity in a best-of-three series. The finals will up the pressure once again to a best-of-five. This is a single-elimination tournament, meaning that when you lose a series, you’re out of the competition.
There's also some special rules for map selection. One team will be selected at random to first remove a map from the pool, and then the other team will also take a map out. From there, each team takes turns picking their preferred map at the start of each round. For the finals, teams will just go straight into picking maps without being able to remove any and with no repeat maps in the best-of-five. Check out the full competition rules for more information.
What are the rules for players?
Players in VALORANT First Strike: Europe will be subject to all the usual game rules, as well as the specific tournament rules laid out here.
Can I get a refresher on the format?
VALORANT First Strike: Europe features four open qualifiers split across two weeks, designed to whittle down the competition from a huge pool of teams into eight of the best in the region. For a full run-down of the tournament format, check out our previous post explaining everything you need to know.
Who are the teams?
Some of the most prominent organisations in esports have confirmed they will be taking part in First Strike: Europe, including Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, FunPlus Phoenix, and G2 Esports. Other notable teams confirmed to be taking part include Vodafone Giants, Heretics, BIG, and Guild. No matter what games you watch, you're certain to see some truly talented teams and players taking part.
What maps will be played?
During the qualifiers, the map pool consists of Bind, Haven, Split, and Ascent. In the main event, the new map Icebox will be added to the pool. As we mentioned before, maps will be chosen by the teams at the start of each round – if you want to know the specifics, be sure to read the full competition rules.
Which agents will be used?
All agents in the VALORANT roster will be available for use in the entire First Strike: Europe tournament, except for Skye, who will be enabled from the Week 2 Qualifiers onwards. This means players can have a chance to understand how Skye's abilities will best work in their teams before throwing her into a tournament setting.
Can I join in?
Registration for the second week of qualifiers closes on Thursday 12 November at 14:00 CET, so you still have time to register for your place in the tournament. Head over here to register. If you want to kick back and watch the action unfold, be sure to follow our official VALORANT Twitch or YouTube channels, so you don’t miss a game.
Editor's note: Week 2 playoffs pre-shows on 21 and 22 Nov has been adjusted and will now begin earlier at 16:20 CET.