September has been a strong month for Hi-Rez Studios. Earlier in the month, Hi-Rez Studios partnered with Tencent Holdings in China, inviting the top Paladins: Champions of the Realm eSports Chinese team to compete at the Paladins Invitational at the Hi-Rez Expo held early next year. Then on Sept 16th, Hi-Rez made headlines again with the introduction of Paladins onto Steam Early Access. Today, Hi-Rez issued a press release confirming that Paladins is not just among Steam's most popular games, but that Hi-Rez is also expanding their Paladins Invitational to include teams from around the world.
"Hi-Rez Studios’ new fantasy themed team based shooter Paladins recently transitioned into Open Beta including Early Access availability on Steam," the studio announced. "Within the first week of Early Access Paladins rocketed into Steam’s Top 10 Games by player count and the Paladin’s global community is growing rapidly."
The press release notes that the beta had "an explosive first weekend with well over 100,000 new accounts created in the first 24 hours," according to Hi-Rez co-founder Todd Harris. Currently, the game sits at a solid 9th place in Steam's top 10 list, easily beating out Rust with a peak player count of 48,346 for Sept 26th.
Hi-Rez also confirmed that the Invitational "will include not only teams from North America and Europe but also teams from Brazil, Latin America, Australia/New Zealand, and China." Level Up and Double Jump will be supervising regionals in Latin America and Australia, respectively, along with Tencent covering China.
Paladins' player boost on Steam is certainly quite the pleasant surprise. It's a clear sign that Hi-Rez's plans to turn Paladins into an eSports shooter are not just well-founded, but clearly have the playerbase to turn that plan into a reality, too. Time has yet to tell if Paladins will continue to dominate the top 10 charts on Steam. But even if it doesn't, the shooter most definitely has a strong head start to push forward onto January.