Kotaku: Valorant Twitch Streamers Are Gaming The System With 24/7 Streams That Rack Up Viewers Desperate For Beta Keys | JoyFreak

Kotaku: Valorant Twitch Streamers Are Gaming The System With 24/7 Streams That Rack Up Viewers Desperate For Beta Keys

Aries

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If you take a look at many of Twitch’s top Valorant streams right now, you’ll note that they claim to be running “24/7.” This might strike you as odd, given that human beings generally need to eat, sleep, and all that fancy, life-sustaining jazz. Most of these streams, however, are not actually live. At least, not all the time.

Ever since the launch of its closed beta a couple weeks ago, Riot Games’ new tactical shooter Valorant has dominated Twitch, pulling record-breaking viewer numbers for what is, by this point, probably a record-breaking amount of time. But it’s not just because people have an insatiable hunger to watch Counter-Strike as played out by special forces members who are also wizards; there are beta keys at stake, and if you want one, you’ve got to tune in to Twitch. Any streamer with beta access will do. Beyond that, you just have to link your Riot account with your Twitch account and then sit in somebody’s chat and wait. Once you pass a threshold of a couple hours, you become eligible to receive a key. Riot says the selection process is random, but it gives higher “weight” to people who’ve watched more hours of Valorant streams. “Hours watched also has diminishing returns,” it said in a blog post on April 8, “so please don’t burn yourself out trying to marathon Valorant streams.”
Twitch has a built-in rerun feature, but streamers eschew this for the sake of beta key drops. Viewers, many of them AFK, hang out in these streams’ chats, hoping to up their chances of snagging an all-important beta key. Viewbotting for the purpose of illicitly snatching up additional keys has also been an issue. This makes sense, given that keys were selling for upwards of $150 on eBay and other sites until Riot said players on purchased accounts could end up getting banned. Now prices are down in the $15-30 range, but selling in bulk could still fetch a pretty penny. But Riot insisted in its blog post that “both us and Twitch have filters in place to distinguish bots vs. people.”

Evidently, the 24/7 method works for streamers. If you check Twitch at any given moment, odds are that you’ll find longtime CSGO content creator Ludwig “Anomaly” Lagerstedt at the top of the Valorant category with over 100,000 concurrent viewers. For the better part of the past few days, he’s been the top streamer on all of Twitch in terms of concurrent viewers. Chat is mostly people asking about keys, entering commands like “!givekey” even though they don’t do anything, and checking their watch time. Other 24/7 Valorant streamers like gaming wiki Fextralife (which also embeds its stream across its pages to inflate its viewership stats), Russian streamer IrmanPlay, and ex-Counter-Strike pro Onscreen aren’t far behind.
 

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