The next release from "League of Legends" studio Riot Games soared to 1.73m simultaneous viewers on streaming platform Twitch, close behind record holder "League of Legends" itself.
After pre-recorded highlights went live the week before, a North American and European closed beta testing phase for team action game "Valorant" began on April 7.
The subsequent audience peak of 1.73m concurrent viewers took the pre-release title close to Twitch TV's all-time high.
Game studio Riot, best known for free-to-play multiplayer battle arena and eSports staple "League of Legends" had primed fans and onlookers to create a Twitch surge by tying wider beta access to livestream viewership.
Those wanting to get into the invite-only beta could connect their Riot Games and Twitch accounts, then watch a "Valorant" stream to enter the mix for a chance at receiving access for themselves.
All but one of Twitch's top ten most-followed channels logged time in "Valorant" on Tuesday -- Tfue, shroud, Myth, Summit1g, Timthetatman, Riot Games, Dakotaz, Pokimane and Dr Disrespect.
Only Ninja, Twitch's number one, didn't get involved -- he was busy playing on Microsoft's rival service, Mixer, which he joined in August 2019.
The game is positioning itself as an eSports essential, attracting many top Twitch channel hosts and a growing number of professional players.
Like "LEague of Legends," it'll be available for free; like "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" (free), "Overwatch" (paid), and "Rainbow Six: Siege" (paid), it's a tactical team game that rewards quick reactions and strategic play.
Two five-person teams go up against each other, attempting to reach 13 wins first, in a map of tight corners, corridors, obstacles and open spaces.
As well as combining the military aesthetic of "CS:GO" and "R6" with the cartoon style of "Overwatch," it also combines an emphasis on round-to-round weapon and equipment selection with a roster of hero characters that have distinct yet overlapping abilities.
Riot Games is shooting for a mid-2020 release on PC. Console releases have not been ruled out, though PC remains the focus for the time being.