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“VCC today has become the aspirational tournament among India’s Valorant community”: Akshat Rathee, co-founder of NODWIN Gaming

Akshat Rathee, co-founder of NODWIN Gaming on Valorant Conquerors Championship (Image via Sportskeeda)
Akshat Rathee, co-founder of NODWIN Gaming on Valorant Conquerors Championship (Image via Sportskeeda)
Abhishek Mallick

With the Valorant Conquerors Championship 2022 finally going live, the South Asian PC esports community is ecstatic to find out which teams will be punching their tickets to the APAC this time around.

The region is finally getting the much-deserved "2 slots" for the international event, and the Valorant fervor is at an all-time competitive high.

In an interview with Abhishek Mallick of Sportskeeda Esports, Akshat Rathee, co-founder of NODWIN Gaming, opened up about some of the ideas and expectations that went into the second iteration of the event. He talks about VCC 1's success and the importance of broadcasting matches in regional languages.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation


Akshat Rathee on the vision and expectations behind Valorant Conquerors Championship

Q. With Valorant Conquerors Championship 2022 kicking off today, talk to us about the success of the first iteration of the event. What do you feel about the growing popularity of Valorant in India?

Akshat Rathee: The VCC 2021 was an instant success because of multiple factors. It not only opened up the world for our Valorant pros allowing them to participate at the grassroots level, but it also paved the path for top Valorant teams to compete and win at the international level.

We at @nodwingaming have achieved the accolade of 'Highest Peak Viewership for Indian Valorant Esports' 🔥The grand finals of the #ValorantConquerorsChampionship has set the bars high when it comes to viewership statistics for PC esports in India. #vcc #grandfinals #vct https://t.co/kaTOZ3Dfue

The tournament has entrenched the South Asian presence in the global roadmap of Valorant esports, providing the proper exposure for India’s gaming talent outside the country. The VCC today has become ‘the’ aspirational tournament among India’s Valorant community.

Look at the numbers we did last year. We had 60k+ concurrent viewers in the finale of the 2021 edition of VCC and 800+ registrations for the event.

Valorant has started a new wave of PC esports with just one edition and brought a fresh perspective to competitive FPS in India. The player base has grown over last year, and the audience loves the game, so we know we’re doing the right thing!


Q. With South Asia finally getting two slots for the APAC LAN event, what do you feel about the chances of some of your top teams this time around?

Akshat Rathee: Last year, we did see a skill gap in players. This time, I’m sure the teams have put in the grind and are well prepared to take on the second edition of VCC.

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I can say that this time, the matches are going to be seat-edge thrillers, especially for the audience. SkRossi is an all-time favorite, Val-classico looks inevitable, and teams like Enigma Gaming look strong. Lukas ‘YB’ Gröning, the ex-CS: GO pro, is coming down to India from Germany to coach them.


Q. Talk to us about some of the thoughts and visions behind VCC 2022. What are some of your expectations regarding viewership and community participation this time around?

Akshat Rathee: With the VCC, the idea was to bring more attention to South Asia, and we have achieved that partly, especially after the kind of reception we got last year.

We want to take it a notch higher and make this edition even bigger. We are expecting to cross 1000 team registrations for the VCC 2022.

The Freezing world of Icebox or the beachside space in Breeze, Where would you prefer to battle your opponents in #VCC2022?🇮🇳🇳🇵🇧🇹🇦🇫🇵🇰🇱🇰🇲🇻🇧🇩Registrations are open for ALL participating countries! Sign up Today 🔗 vcc.nodwingaming.com#VCC #VCC2022 #nodwingaming https://t.co/PblJd4MTHl

Q. NODWIN Gaming was able to secure exclusive Hindi broadcast rights for the entirety of Valorant Champions Tour 2022. Talk to us about this decision and the importance of broadcasting matches in regional languages.

Akshat Rathee: That was precisely the point! Most Valorant players come from India’s many regions where languages other than English are spoken. Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, and Bengali are among the most commonly spoken regional languages, and some of our best players are most comfortable with their local dialect.

Do you think your Cypher is too defensive? 🛡️ Tag them and let them know about what the #VCC pro's say 💬Here's a pro tip from none other than Enigma.RVK for all Valorant players who love playing Cypher! 📷Sign up for #VCC2022 💪🔗 vcc.nodwingaming.com https://t.co/bX7Dh6MvTv

For us at NODWIN, the fact that we were able to secure exclusive Hindi broadcast rights for VCT 2022 further reiterates that India’s gaming talent comes from all across India, not just from the metros and big cities.

Hindi has always seen good numbers. Regional language broadcasts have been a point of focus for us for a long time now and will continue to be, as they help us attain the maximum reach.


Q. What are your thoughts on this year’s pool of talents in Valorant India? Who are your heavy favorites to win it all?

Akshat Rathee: Well, I’m betting on the heavyweights, but let’s wait until the tournament begins to see how the players ease into the competition. We’ll have to see if any underdogs pull surprises at us or if new players steal the spotlight at the VCC 2022. May the best win!


Edited by Yasho Amonkar

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