Valorant is the next big video game breaking records on Twitch - here's how to play it for free

A new video game that took the live-streaming service Twitch by storm is now available to play for free.

Valorant is a multiplayer first-person shooter, and it's already close to taking Fortnite's crown as one of the most popular games in the world.

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The game's closed beta period began in April and attracted 1.7 million concurrent viewers to Twitch, becoming one of the most popular games viewed on the site before it was technically even been released.

At the peak of the game’s popularity, close to 2 million people were watching others play the game at the same time; just shy of the current record number of concurrent viewers on Twitch held by Fortnite.

Here's everything you need to know about the new game:

What is Valorant?

Valorant is a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter, in which two teams of five play against each other.

The game falls into the 'hero' sub-genre of games, in which players pick from a roster of unique characters, each with their own abilities; there are currently ten known "agents" in Valorant.

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In the game's main mode, the attacking team has a bomb that they need to plant.

If the attacking team successfully protects the bomb and it detonates, they get a point. But if the defending team defuses the bomb or the 100-second round timer expires, they get the point.

Points can also be gained by eliminating all opposing team members in a round, and the first team to win the best of 25 rounds wins the match.

Why is the game proving so popular?

Part of the game's popularity comes down to the fact it's being developed by Riot Games.

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This might be the studio's first foray into the first-person-shooter genre, but the company has previously been responsible for League of Legends, another of Twitch's record-holding "most watched" games.

Riot's games are often highly competitive, and designed to be entertaining for both those playing their games and fans watching around the world.

Competitive League of Legends tournaments attract millions of viewers from across the globe, and often see equally staggering sums of real-world money being handed out to the victors.

But another reason behind the game's Twitch popularity lies in the genius method Riot Games used to get eyes on their latest product.

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Closed beta keys - codes which allowed gamers access to the trial period - were being given out to people watching Twitch's live-streams.

That's means the number of viewers was been driven up by players increasing their chances of getting to play the new game; there were even reports of fans setting up multiple Twitch accounts in order to increase their odds of getting a key.

When can I play it?

Valorant is available from 2 June for PC.

To play it, head to the game’s official website, where you will be able to download Valorant for free.

What’s new on day one?

On release date, Riot Games have released a Day One patch, bringing a number of new features to the game that weren’t included in the closed beta.

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Reyna is the latest Agent to join the Valorant roster of characters, there’s a brand new map in the form of Ascent – set in Italy and featuring a large, open middle area – and Spike Rush is a new game mode that that offers a more hectic play style with shorter matches.

For the full patch notes, head to the game’s website

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