Japan is currently host to one of the largest live events in Valorant esports history. RAGE 2022 Spring LAN is a two-day exhibition tournament held at the Tokyo Dome stadium in Japan on May 7 and 8.
RAGE partnered with Riot Games to create a memorable experience for Valorant's Japanese audience. Although Japan was slow to make their mark in VCT history, their efforts were recognized after Zeta Division put on a remarkable performance at the Masters: Reykjavik.
After proving their quality as a major region, Japan have taken steps towards doubling down on their efforts to solidify their spot in the game's history books.
Valorant community reacts to the crowd from RAGE 2022 Spring LAN in Japan
Day 1 of the RAGE 2022 Spring LAN showcased an All-Star Streamer showdown, featuring 10 of the country's top streamers and content creators. Few among the thousands of live fans were also given the opportunity to compete against streamers in various mini-games or custom games.
The highlight of the event, however, will be on Day 2. Three of Japan's most reputed organizations - Zeta Division, Crazy Raccoon and Reject, will be competing in a set of exhibition matchups. Following this, fans can also interact with members of Zeta Division in a live talk-session.
The Tokyo Dome Stadium reportedly sold out 12,000 seats for the two-day event. Soon after the conclusion of Day 1, videos of the event emerged, showcasing the unreal atmosphere of the Japanese audience. Valorant's online community reacted to the video on Twitter.
Through his tweet, Team Liquid's ScreaM made it evident that he was looking forward to playing in front of a huge crowd like he did in CS: GO. With Valorant's release clashing with Covid-19 restrictions, Riot Games are yet to allow large crowds at VCT LAN events.
Several other professionals also gave their thoughts on the growing esports culture of Japan. Redgar, the in-game leader for Masters 3 Champions (formerly Gambit Esports), appreciated the event with a tweet in Japanese, which said:
"Subarashii desu ne" (translated to: This is wonderful)
KennyS, a former CS: GO professional, also commented on the matter, sharing his hopes of seeing a major LAN event in the region sometime in the future.
Fayde, the head-coach for APAC side Team Secret, retweeted the video, requesting that Riot Games host a LAN event for the APAC teams in Japan. Similar requests were tweeted by Asian fans as well, one of whom requested for the upcoming Stage 2 Masters to be held in Japan or Korea.
Twitter was flooded with appreciation for the Japanese Valorant community as the tournament's audience put on a great display of unity as a gamer community, doing their best to support their region's talents.
The Stage 1 Masters for VCT 2022 was conducted in Reykjavik, Iceland, with Stage 2 reported to be in Berlin, Germany. These are the only two locations where Riot Games have hosted international LAN events for Valorant, partly due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
The game's audience, however, is yearning for the day when all the top contestants from around the world will convene in Asia to compete for the grand trophy. While this may appear distant from the current reality, fans can certainly expect a future where Asia will host major international events like VCT.