Is Valorant a dead game? The Truth in numbers

If you are a fan of Valorant, you have likely seen comments such as ‘Valorant is a dead game’ pop up everywhere. Whether you are on Twitter or you are watching a live stream on Twitch, some troll is shouting that Valorant is a dead game.

So what gives? Is Valorant really dead after just one year?

How Valorant became popular

From the very start, Valorant was an instant hit. During the games Beta, Riot Games allowed Twitch Viewers to acquire Beta access by watching Valorant streams. This stunt skyrocketed Valorant to the very top of Twitch.

By the end of the first month of the beta, April 2020, Valorant had 344,551,979 watched hours. According to Sully Gnome, this put them in the most-watched position on Twitch. More than doubling the runner-up Just Chatting category.

By the time of the official release in June of 2020, Valorant had dropped all the way to the 8th position on Twitch. And this trend continued as Valorant resumed to drop month after month, landing in the 14th position by the end of 2020.

Some considered this reason enough to call Valorant a dead game. Meanwhile, other FPS games such as CSGO, Fortnite, and Escape from Tarkov landed in more favorable positions.

But as soon as January 2021, all convictions were put to rest as Valorant started climbing positions again.

Is Valorant a dead game?

Valorant is not even close to a dead game. The free-to-play tactical shooter developed by Riot Games grows in numbers every single day.

Convictions that valorant is dead, stem from a small minority of CSGO fans who fear the future of their own game.

internet trolls proclaiming valorant a dead game using Twitch chat
Official VCT live streams are full of internet trolls proclaiming Valorant a dead game | Screenshot from Twitch Chat

Being a tactical shooter that closely resembles CSGO, it is only natural that fans of the game start to worry whether their preferred game might be consumed by another.

Especially when the newer, flashier version is owned by Riot Games. A company that successfully turned League of Legends (their copy of DOTA) into one of the biggest esports ever.

These fans have witnessed the success that Valorant has achieved until now, and fear it might kill their game. As a defense mechanism, internet trolls have started to pronounce Valorant a dead game.

But again, this fear that CSGO might be swallowed whole isn’t completely unfounded. After all, Valorant did largely contribute to the death blow that Overwatch received in the last couple of years.

How big is Valorant on Twitch?

Valorant consistently ranks among the highest-viewed categories on Twitch.

In the last 365 days, Valorant ranked 4th in terms of watched hours on Twitch. Just behind GTA5 and League of Legends.

valorant is the most watched fps game on twitch
Most watched games on Twitch in the last 365 days.

Making Valorant not only the most-watched FPS game but also the most-watched Tactical FPS game on Twitch.

valorant is far from dead as it is the 4th most watched game on twitch
Valorant beats CSGO, Apex Legends, and Fortnite in terms of watched hours on Twitch

Valorant vs CSGO on Twitch

In 2019, before Valorant was released, CSGO made up the 6th position on Twitch.

csgo lost viewers to valorant
CSGO before Valorant

After Valorant was released in 2020, CSGO dropped to the 7th position while Valorant took up the 5th position.

csgo ranks worse than valorant on twitch
Valorant vs CSGO on Twitch 2020 | most-watched games on Twitch

In 2021, Valorant kept their 5th position but CSGO fell back to the 8th position.

valorant has more twitch viewers than csgo
Valorant vs CSGO on Twitch 2021 | most-watched games on Twitch

And finally, in 2022, Valorant managed to secure the 4th position on Twitch while CSGO fell back into the 9th position.

valorant has a bigger viewerbase than csgo
Valorant vs CSGO on Twitch 2022 | most-watched games on Twitch

Valorant is the clear winner in terms of viewership on Twitch. Valorant consistently outranks CSGO year after year since its release. However, while Valorant has the bigger numbers, it doesn’t seem like CSGO has taken a big hit in terms of viewership.

Year after year, CSGO has grown on Twitch. From 457k watched hours in 2019 to 767k viewers in 2021. This makes sense because Twitch has exploded in growth in the last couple of years.

Source: Sully Gnome

Valorant vs Overwatch on Twitch

In 2019, before Valorant was released, Overwatch was ranked in 9th place on Twitch with 284k watched hours. However, after Valorants’ release in 2020, Overwatch fell back all the way to 19th place with 170k watched hours. In the meantime, Valorant held a strong 5th place position with 814k watched hours. Almost 5 times more than Overwatch had.

What’s more, is that 2020 was the year that Twitch blew up and many games blew up with it, but for Overwatch, it seems that the arrival of Valorant dealt its final death blow.

This pattern continued into 2021 when Overwatch saw a mere 131k watched hours and landed in the 31st spot on Twitch.

While 2020 and 2021 were explosive years for Twitch, streamers, and video games alike, Overwatch’s audience crumbled on Twitch. Valorant completely knocked Overwatch out of the water and stole a big chunk of its audience.

Source: Sully Gnome

Why does Valorant not have many viewers during tournaments?

Some Twitch viewers have gone on to compare the official Valorant stream to the official CSGO stream on Twitch during tournaments. Where CSGO frequently has 150k viewers on their official channel, the Valorant channel on Twitch tops out at 100k viewers.

What these viewers aren’t taking into consideration though is that Riot Games has allowed streamers to host watch parties, which are often more popular than the official stream. Big Valorant streamers such as Tarik and TenZ can often expect to rack in over 50-100k viewers in their individual watch parties.

If you were to make a sum of the viewers watching watch parties, and add them to those watching the official stream, then Valorant tournaments would exceed CSGO tournaments in terms of viewers.

On Twitch, Valorant has around 350k viewers watching VCT tournaments if you include all the official streams and watch parties.

Conclusion

Valorant is far from a dying game. In fact, Valorant is the most popular tactical shooter and FPS game on Twitch today. Beating out Fortnite, CSGO, Apex Legends, and Overwatch.

Anyone who tells you that Valorant is dying, is either delusional, not paying attention, or down-right trolling.

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