Despite a lack of an international and large-scale tournament series in Valorant, eSports organizations are already creating rosters consisting of well-known players to compete in smaller tournaments in this relatively young FPS. Most of the big names that are now prominent in the community are pro-players who switched from CSGO to Valorant. Despite the CSGO being much more established than this upstart FPS, why do ex-CSGO players line up to join rosters in the Valorant competitive series?
Valorant vs CS:GO
Valorant has been criticized as another Counter-Strike clone trying to make a name for itself in the FPS community. Critics have also mentioned how Valorant is just a mashed-up version of various successful games like CS:GO and Overwatch in terms of design in mechanics. Despite negative feedback from old-school FPS loyalists, Valorant has actually been receiving a lot of positive comments especially from famous personalities thanks to the dedication and promotion that the Riot Games team has put out.
In terms of the Esports scene, Riot Games has already established itself as the top brand when it comes to organizing international esports tournaments with events like the League of Legends World Finals. There are many reasons why pros would like to switch from CSGO to Valorant but the reasons aren’t as shallow as most people assume it to be. What does Valorant have that CSGO players are so enticed to jump into the game?
Riot Games Esports
When it comes to the biggest names on the Esports community, most brands such as Cloud9, Team SoloMid, and G2 Esports originated from League of Legends rosters that branched out into other games. Riot Games provides one of the most entertaining tournaments in eSports history with production and media having a large focus in the market. This entices more viewers that will serve as the primary source of money that goes into the prize pool that CS:GO players will aim get through winning.
Riot Games provides support for all of the organizations that fall under its wing on an international scale. Players that are being signed into Valorant pro-teams are already earning $15,000-$25,000 monthly even without any big tournaments out at the moment. That is not to say that CSGO organizations are giving out peanuts to their players. However, the potential for even higher salaries lie in the fact that the game is still developing.
The Valorant Experience
Another reason for pros switching from CSGO to Valorant is the experience of playing a continuously evolving game. CSGO personalities have criticized Valve for failing to create something new to the old Counter-Strike model with both the casual and competitive scene being described as “stale”. In truth, Counter-Strike Global Offensive provides very little that can be changed because of the game’s model where the best addition that the game can add are new maps.
In comparison, Valorant features Agents which are released periodically which add some spice into the game and change the meta often. Riot Games is also known to revamp it’s game to add a fresh perspective on the game similar to massive changes that occurred throughout the history of League of Legends such as map and objective revamps. Valorant will provide both professionals and the general community a refreshing experience once the game has found its footing in the FPS community.
Issues in CS:GO
One of the main testimonies that pros gave out when asked why they switched from CSGO to Valorant is that they found the professional scene oversaturated. In a Twitter post from Yay, he mentioned how difficult it was for lower-tier teams to compete in CS:GO especially since they don’t have salaries the same way that players who are signed with esports organizations.
The concept of being frustrated about lower-tier teams not being sponsored by large organizations might sound silly, but the money that can go into being able to hire analysts, coaches, and facilities are some of the factors that turn a lower-tier team into a Top 10 team. This creates a rift between the players and makes it difficult for rising stars to make it into the league. Whether Riot Games will pursue support for lower-standing teams is still unknown, but players are hoping to get the same treatment that League of Legends teams has with tournaments like the League of Legends Development League.
Advantages of Switching From CSGO to Valorant
The fundamentals surrounding CSGO and Valorant are almost entirely the same. However, the mechanics needed to play both games are different in terms of difficulty and knowledge. Valorant was designed to be friendlier towards beginners who have never invested any time playing a competitive FPS like Counter-Strike. This allows CSGO players to transition quickly into the Valorant scene with the only thing they need to learn is using agents and abilities.
Former CSGO players also have established reputations which make them prime targets for the high-demand for Valorant players to fill out rosters around the world. These players get to test out their abilities and synergy with the team through smaller scale tournaments sponsored by organizations with a little help from Riot Games themselves. Players who have proven themselves are likely to find a home for the next year or so.
Valorant Moving Forward
Riot Games have yet to organize large-scale tournaments due to factors such as COVID-19 being hurdles to make said events profitable for the company. However, there is no doubt that Riot Games has declared its intentions to compete with the biggest titles on the genre by trying to establish hype around the game with minor leagues to pique the interest of players who are interested in trying out their luck for a spot in competitive Valorant.
Is Valorant the CS:GO killer?
Valorant has yet to compete with CS:GO in terms of its competitive aspect but the interest surrounding the game has pushed Valve to step-up their game by announcing new content for CS:GO. When it comes to being the next CS:GO killer, Valorant will need 2 to 3 more years before it will be able to compete against this giant in the FPS genre.