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Riot’s shooter Valorant goes into beta on April 7th

A first chance to play the intriguing game

Fans will get an opportunity to play Riot’s Overwatch-meets-Counter-Strike game Valorant very soon: today, the developer announced that a closed beta will be launching on April 7th. It’s not clear just how big the beta will be or how long it will last, but Riot says that prospective players will need to link their Riot and Twitch accounts to be eligible. “When closed beta activates in your region, watch specific Valorant streams highlighted on Twitch for the opportunity to be entitled for closed beta access,” the developer explains. (Check out the official site for full details.)

The beta won’t be entirely global, at least not at launch. Instead, it will be available to players in Canada, Europe, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. According to Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon, the limited number of regions is due to the ongoing pandemic. “Our plan was to bring the Valorant closed beta to as many players around the world as quickly as possible, but the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted those plans, compromising a wider global rollout,” she said in a statement. “For now, we have to focus on the regions where we feel most ready, with more regions following in the months to come.”

Valorant was first teased last October under the codename “Project A.” It’s Riot’s first title outside of the League of Legends universe, and it’s a 5v5 competitive game that looks to combine the tactical shooter gameplay of CS:GO with the superpowers and colorful characters of Overwatch. The full game is slated to launch on PC sometime this summer.