There are lots of celebrities with nerdy passions and Valorant has proven to be among the biggest among them.
One of the biggest signs of how it’s become cool to be a nerd is how many celebrities are publicly fans of video games and anime. From actor Henry Cavill discussing his Warhammer 40K collection to MMA champion Israel Adesanya doing Naruto hand signs in the cage before a fight, many are willing to openly show their fandoms.
Video games are no different and Valorant has been cited as a go-to favorite for many big names in television, movies, music, and more. Here are some of the celebrities who have publicly shown their love for the game.
Which celebrities are Valorant players?
Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Ben Affleck are among several celebrities who have specifically discussed their love of Valorant. While they’re not consistently forward about it, some have mentioned it during interviews while others have appeared at Valorant tournaments or events hosted by Riot Games. Here are some of the biggest names that are known to play Valorant.
Ben Affleck made a surprise appearance on the final day of Valorant Champions 2023, which saw Evil Geniuses win the championship. When asked about his play style in the game, he stated that he is currently a Kay/O main but tends to bounce around between agents.
Ben Affleck wasn’t the only surprise appearance at Valorant Champions 2023. On-again, off-again richest person in the world Elon Musk was spotted in the stands at the event and shown on the broadcast both on Twitch and in the stadium. This was met with boos from the crowd and a “bring back Twitter” chant, a reference to Musk’s unpopular rebranding of the social media platform to X.
Linkin Park vocalist Mike Shinoda was one of the first notable names to discuss their Valorant fandom. Though he’s a Valorant fan, Shinoda appeared at the premier event for League of Legends animated series Arcane. He had a funny moment with LCS personality Ovilee May who didn’t recognize him despite being a Linkin Park fan.
While there are a number of celebrities who are known to like Valorant, Zedd is the only one who has actually been commemorated in the game to this point. The German DJ had a line of skins entitled “ZEDD SPECTRUM” added to the game in his honor. The skins are known for their exorbitant price tag and the elaborate effects that play when a round is secured using one.
Kourtney Kardashian Barker
Keeping Up with the Kardashians? More like Keeping Up with a Classic. Instagram personality Kourtney Kardashian Barker likely confused many of her 161 million followers at the time when she posted an Instagram Story that was a single screenshot of Raze on Breeze. Though this likely flew over the heads of many, Valorant fans were able to recognize what this meant.
Pro footballer Antoine Griezmann is deep in the weeds when it comes to esports. The Atletico Madrid forward had his own organization, Grizi Esports, for a short while which sponsored competitors in FIFA, Fortnite, and TrackMania. He was a big fan of Counter-Strike but also played regularly once the game launched.
If a celebrity Valorant match was played, Jordan Fisher would almost certainly top-frag. Fisher stays very active between his work on the screen and on Broadway. Depending on the person, he might be known for winning Dancing with the Stars, playing Impulse in The Flash TV series, or as the voice and face of Matt in the adventure game Until Dawn.
He’s an esports fan through and through, though. He served as a commentator during the 2019 Fortnite World Cup and streamed a variety of shooters on Twitch. He hasn’t been as active in this regard lately, but given how he peaked at Immortal 1 on the Valorant ranked ladder, he could likely dust off his mouse and clean the server any day of the week.
Other celebrities who are fans of esports
Valorant isn’t the only major esports title that has some notable fans. Fellow competitive shooters and various other titles have major sports stars and actors who are openly fans.
DJ and music producer Marshmello planted his flag in Fortnite very early on. Alongside streaming star Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, he was a winner in the first Fortnite Pro-Am tournament, and he has competed in the tournament series multiple times since. Not only that but Marshmello also got his own in-game concert event in Fortnite.
Basketball superstar Yao Ming was outed for his time playing Counter-Strike long before it was normal for pro athletes to acknowledge their gaming habits. Though it never came up in interviews or social media posts, photos of the 7’6” center hunched over a PC playing the original Counter-Strike were making the rounds all the way back in 2004.
Following in the footsteps of Yao Ming was Jeremy Lin, but Counter-Strike wasn’t his game of choice. Instead, Lin was raised on a diet of Defense of the Ancients and was heavily involved in Dota 2 for a time. He made an appearance in the Dota 2 documentary Free to Play and was partnered with Chinese esports organization Vici Gaming for a time, co-sponsoring a series of teams under the VGJ umbrella before sponsoring his own team, J.Storm.
Brazil loves Counter-Strike, and footballer Neymar Junior is no different. Neymar regularly rubs shoulders with Brazil’s top Counter-Strike talent and plays CSGO quite a lot himself. He got personal lessons from Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, played show matches against Furia Esports, and famously got a knife kill on one of the game’s best players, Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut.
Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega
Pro wrestlers Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega are both very forward about their love of video games. Woods helped grow WWE’s YouTube gaming channel UpUpDownDown to over 2 million subscribers, and Kenny Omega has incorporated gaming into his presentation and in-ring move list. They’ve both rubbed shoulders with the biggest names in competitive fighting games including Justin Wong and Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi, and have faced off against each other on more than one occasion.
Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega are far from the only pro wrestlers to be firmly entrenched in the competitive gaming space. Claudio Castagnoli, known in WWE as Cesaro, is a big League of Legends fan. Not only does he play the game himself but he made appearances at LoL esports events.