Esports media company RFRSH Entertainment announced Tuesday that it will be hosting the next VALORAT Ignition Series tournament in Europe, marketing it through its BLAST esports arm. The BLAST VALORANT Twitch Invitational is scheduled for September 11-13 and feature a total prize pool of €50,000.
Although part of the Ignition Series, i.e. the series of tournaments between Riot Games and third parties, the BLAST Twitch Invitational will run with a very small pool of teams, inviting just four sides: Team Liquid, FunPlus Phoenix, G2 Esports, and Ninjas in Pyjamas. This makes it the tightest VALORANT Ignition Series tournament to date, with most events inviting around 8-16 teams.
The four invited teams, however, present the pinnacle of the European VALORANT scene. G2 Esports are coming in as the reigning best team on the continent with five straight Ignition titles. Of their 30 series total, G2 has lost only one (two draws) and is 52-9 in individual maps. G2 has also decisively beaten every single one of the teams that will be at BLAST Twitch Invitational, raising the question whether anyone can wrestle their dominance away from them.
This is BLAST's first entry into VALORANT, though the company already has wide experience hosting events in FPS titles. In CS:GO, BLAST has hosted over a dozen events, the biggest of which have been the BLAST Pro Series Global Final 2019 and BLAST Premier Spring EU Finals, each with $500,000 prize pool. For the 2020 season, BLAST had originally planned to host a series of events ramping up to a $1.5M grand final event in January 2021, but so far, many of the tournaments have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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