T1 and Nerd Street Gamers Partner to Host Riot’s First North American VALORANT Ignition Series Event on June 26-28

by Olivia Schaller--Updated

The T1 x Nerd Street Gamers VALORANT Showdown Features a $50K Prize Pool and Unique Opportunities for Amateurs and Aspiring Pro Gamers

PHILADELPHIA – June 18, 2020 – T1 Entertainment & Sports (T1) and Nerd Street Gamers today announced the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers VALORANT Showdown, the first North American event in Riot’s VALORANT Ignition Series on June 26-28. Hosted by one of the best VALORANT teams in the world and powered by Nerd Street Gamers, the $50K VALORANT tournament prize pool is the largest to date in the North American region and provides the rare opportunity for amateurs and aspiring professional gamers to compete against some of the biggest names in gaming.

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“We’re thrilled to partner with Nerd Street Gamers to bring Riot’s first VALORANT Ignition Series event to North America,” said Joe Marsh, CEO of T1. “In addition to T1’s VALORANT team, we’ve invited some of the biggest names in gaming to battle it out for the record-breaking $50K prize pool in North America and look forward to sharing some exciting programming elements as we get closer to the event.”

Nerd Street Gamers is powering the event and partnering with T1 on the production, which will feature world-renowned VALORANT players, streamers, and influencers, as well as special programming elements such as exclusive interviews with Riot and T1 personnel.

“It is incredibly exciting to see publishers like Riot Games embrace the amateur community by empowering Nerd Street Gamers and T1 to host tangible path to pro events like our upcoming qualifiers,” said John Fazio, founder and CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. “Riot has acted on their commitment to support the competitive gaming scene, and we are looking forward to supporting both pros and amateurs for the Ignition Series in North America.”

Two play-in qualifier events will take place on June 20 and June 21 where competing teams have the opportunity to secure one of four open spots in the 16-team T1 x Nerd Street Gamers VALORANT Showdown. Winners of the play-in qualifiers will face off against top VALORANT players, streamers, and influencers for a piece of the $50k prize pool. The qualifiers are open to all gamers and those interested in competing can register at nerdstgamers.com/valorant.

“From big-time partners to an impressive prize pool and the chance for amateurs to compete alongside household names, T1 and Nerd Street Gamers are helping us kick off North American VALORANT esports in a big way,” said Matt Archambault, head of NA esports partnerships and business development at Riot Games. “We have no doubt that the Showdown will be an incredible opening to the rest of the NA Ignition Series.”

The VALORANT Ignition Series, announced June 16, 2020, is a global series of tournaments created by Riot Games in partnership with players, teams, content creators and tournament organizers designed to give fans their first taste of high stakes competitive play. The series kicks off on June 19 in the EMEA region with the G2 Esports VALORANT Invitational and in Japan with the RAGE x IGNITION tournament. The T1 x Nerd Street Gamers VALORANT Showdown is the first event to take place in North America. Additional events from other regions will be announced soon.


About T1 Entertainment & Sports:

T1 Entertainment & Sports is a global esports joint venture that owns and operates the ultra-successful T1 League of Legends (LoL) Champions Korea (LCK) team, along with teams and players in competitive gaming segments that include Valorant, Fortnite, Dota 2, PUBG, Super Smash Bros., Hearthstone, Apex Legends, Overwatch, and FIFA Online 4. The T1 LoL LCK team, previously known as SK Telecom T1, has won three LoL World Championships (2013, 2015, 2016). T1 unites esports enthusiasts around the world through its gaming culture and lifestyle, content creation, entertainment and merchandise. SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor launched T1 in October 2019 and have global operations based in Seoul, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. For more information on T1, please visit T1.gg.

About Nerd Street Gamers:

Nerd Street Gamers is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. NSG has received backing from Five Below, Comcast, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Ventures, and angel investor George Miller.

For more information, follow @nerdstgamers on Twitter or visit nerdstgamers.com.


VALORANT is a competitive 5v5 character-based tactical shooter for the PC developed by Riot Games. VALORANT is a precise and lethal multiplayer game with high-fidelity gunplay, a diverse arsenal of guns, agents with unique abilities, and competitively tuned maps for thousands of hours of play.

VALORANT is a free-to-play game and optimized to perform on a wide variety of PC hardware, allowing for a global audience to compete. Demonstrated by the game’s best-in-class game server quality, global infrastructure, and proprietary anti-cheat technology, Riot Games is committed to preserving the core tenets of the tactical shooter genre and upholding the competitive integrity of the gameplay experience.

About Riot Games:

Riot Games was founded in 2006 to develop, publish, and support the most player-focused games in the world. In 2009, Riot released its debut title, League of Legends, to worldwide acclaim. League has gone on to be the most-played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports.

As League enters its second decade, Riot continues to evolve the game while delivering new experiences to players with VALORANT, Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and multiple work-in-progress titles, while exploring the world of Runeterra through multimedia projects across music, comic books, TV, and more. Founded by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, Riot is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has 2,500+ Rioters in 20+ offices worldwide.

Media Contacts:
Kelsey Rowley
T1 Entertainment & Sports West

Paige Funk
Nerd Street Gamers

Kaitlin Stewart
Riot Games

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