VALORANT has taken off worldwide, but one region in particular has absolutely fallen in love with Riot’s tactical shooter and its esports scene. Japan became one of the top regions in terms of VALORANT esports viewership last year, and that’s definitely continuing into this year.
The first split of the VALORANT Challengers League in Japan is dominating all other regional competitions in viewership, according to data gathered from Esports Charts. At time of writing, the event has amassed over 5.5 million hours watched, with a peak of 137,160 viewers during the opening match between Crazy Raccoon and Crest Gaming Zst.
The next highest 2023 VALORANT event in terms of total viewership is the Ludwig x Tarik Invitational, which generated 2.2 million hours watched. The next highest VALORANT Challengers league in terms of viewership is the North American league, with over 1.08 million hours watched, which means that VALORANT Challengers Japan is pulling in roughly five times the amount of total viewership.
The peak viewership match for VALORANT Challengers Japan mentioned above also narrowly edged out the peak match in NA. The match between The Guard and Disguised Toast’s team peaked at just over 133,063. VALORANT Challengers Japan also maintains an average of over 70,000 viewers while NA’s average sits at just over 62,000.
As alluded to earlier, this is not a new trend in Japan. Viewership figures from last year painted a picture of a region that has gone all in with VALORANT. On YouTube, in particular, the official VALORANT Japan channel kept pace with both of the main channels for VCT and the Overwatch League in total hours watched.
Japan’s affinity for VALORANT has not gone unnoticed by Riot, and the lone VCT Masters event for this year’s season will take place in Tokyo later this year.