Is Reykjavik becoming the Valorant capital of Europe?
Riot has revealed the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Masters Stage 1 will once again be held in Reykjavik. Reykjavik had formerly hosted the 2021 VCT Masters Stage 2, the first ever global Valorant Masters levels event. The news was initially announced through the official Valorant Esports account on Chinese social media platform Weibo,
While Riot has yet to release a full announcement officially in English and we lack all the details, there is still plenty to go off. The 2022 VCT Masters Stage 1 Reykjavik will take place across two weeks from the 10 – 24 April. It is also extremely likely the venue of the event will be hosted at the Laugardalshöll, a sports center that had hosted last year’s event.
While by far from the biggest venue in Europe, the 3000 seating capacity of the Laugardalshöll is sufficient, especially if it remains to be an offline event once again.
Why was Reykjavik chosen again?
Riot’s statement revealed they were pleased with how Iceland had hosted its recent major events, including the 2021 League of Legends World Championships. It also reads that Iceland provided the best chance of success for the event, especially considering the global covid pandemic. Compared to the rest of Europe, Iceland had controlled the spread of covid well, making it unlikely for travel restrictions being a major factor between Iceland and the wider global community. Given the 2022 VCT Masters 1 would be a LAN event, they would naturally choose a location with such considerations. Additionally, Riot have expressed that “Valorant events to live audiences in 2022 is a top priority”, with Iceland providing the best chances for not only players, but for small amount of spectators to fly in around the globe to fly in.
What does this mean?
In the past, Riot have rarely hosted major global tournaments the same place twice in a row. With the VCT Masters making its return to Reykjavik once again for a second time in a row, there may be more to it than many imagine, possibly indicating a more permeant home for VCT. While Iceland had seen little esports action prior to 2021, Riot’s satisfaction with Iceland is apparent, and could lead the VCT Masters return to Reykjavik on a yearly basis in the coming years.
Riot usually prefers for its large global events like the League of Legends Championship to be held across varying countries and continents. However, with all past major Valorant events like Masters and Champions being held in Europe, it is very likely Europe will be treated as a home for Valorant esports. This is especially so considering Valorant’s large European fan base, with European teams dominating three of four top spots in the 2021 Valorant Champions.
Just imagine Reykjavik building a status in Valorant, similar to what Katowice means for CS:GO.