The verdict is out.
Records were set, the hype was fulfilled, and Valorant is here to stay. With a single-day hours watched record in a single game category at launch, Valorant set the online streaming scene on fire. It was everywhere and everyone was watching. On launch day (April 7th, 2020), a total of 34 million hours were watched. 1.7 million people concurrently watched for an opportunity to be invited into the closed beta. Some of the biggest Twitch streamers were playing the game, with upwards of 150,000 viewers at a given time. It was incredible to see and it’s only the beginning.
Sitting behind the record set by the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, Riot Games has clearly shown that’s ready to go against the biggest names in the first-person shooter stratosphere. Their first endeavor into the world of FPS has been a huge success. Combining elements of the beloved Counter-Strike franchise and art design of Overwatch, Valorant is ready to take over its lane. But what does this mean for the competitive gaming scene? It means that things are about to change and change rather quickly. Valorant’s minimum system requirements are incredibly low. This pretty much means that any “potato” PC will be able to run the game. That’s where Riot Games played it’s cards the right way. This sets the table for a longevity that’ll shake up the industry for years to come. Get ready, because Valorant is ready to challenge for esports dominance, starting this summer.
Image courtesy of Riot Games.
GBL has gotten its hands on Valorant. Needless to say, the verdict is quite positive. It’s challenging but it’s also a whole lot of fun. A game we recommend everyone to try IF you can get a key. This is what our team has to say about Valorant:
I wish I had played more Counter-Strike throughout the years!
Valorant is geared to appeal to longtime PC gamers and it remains true to its core. The learning curve is high, but the rewards are so fulfilling. Having to play with a keyboard and mouse is a challenge, especially for someone who’s mostly spent his time gaming with a controller. However, it’s well worth it and honestly, I don’t see any other way of playing Valorant while also soaking in the entire experience. If you’re not playing to be challenged, then what’s the point of playing? Valorant belongs on PC and will force you to “git-gud” or get out of the way. The door has been kicked down and many will be able to enjoy the game. Expect Valorant to create a community for all levels of gamers, and that’s a welcoming feeling.
I got off the Counter Strike hype train after Source, when fresh multiplayer experiences were drawing me away from the traditionalism of Global Offensive and the genre was learning new tricks and subverting fundamentals -- Valorant is yet another title in the FPS genre post Team Fortress 2. While many were quick to assign all of Valorant’s stock to its character-based gameplay in the vein of “hero shooters” like Overwatch, Valorant’s task in setting itself apart is taking the tactical shooter genre and injecting its DNA with modern sensibilities. Valorant goes to great lengths to tell you which classic fundamentals are at play such as walking noise, map callouts and economy while assuming that character abilities are a natural fit to the modern gamer.
Where Valorant has the potential to take the genre by storm is the way it lends the player a guiding hand to newcomers while providing familiar outlets for veterans. The presence of ironsights on every rifle sates the expectations of gamers who enjoy a more casual style of FPS, but the presence of Counter Strike gun archetypes makes Valorant fit like a glove to the older crowd. I personally think the spread and recoil patterns present in Valorant’s gunplay is more lenient than Valve’s original take on these archetypes. Valorant’s baked-in map callouts helps introduce players to the genre’s jargon. Players are able to view the trajectory of their own ability projectiles to learn as they play. I believe Riot understands that the tactical shooter has a rich history, and not all of it is immediately available to the newcomer. It’s possible that Valorant may not scratch every itch of the veteran player, but I insist that many new players will enter the genre through Riot Games.
However, Riot’s challenge goes beyond emulating the genre. In treading new ground they’ve introduced characters with mixed reactions, concerns about character balance and how the meta will settle over time. I firmly believe Riot’s pedigree in developing interesting characters has been proven many times over, and I’ll be watching and playing Valorant not because Riot needs to prove itself to me but rather because I’m waiting for Riot’s real innovations to take Valorant to the next level.
For context, I have about 90 hours logged on Counter-Strike between CS: Source and CS: GO. While this is by no means a trivial amount of time to spend on a video game, this is a mere drop in the bucket compared to more dedicated players. While I’ve played a couple of competitive matches in CS: GO in the past few months in anticipation of Valorant, I’m presently unranked. The only other game within the same wheelhouse that I’ve played is Rainbow Six: Siege, clocking in at 11 hours. I include this information for you to understand my level of familiarity with this particular style of tactical shooter. My preferences in shooting games tend more towards more movement-oriented games like Doom, Unreal Tournament, Quake, and Titanfall 2.
I’ve always felt that my gaming skills were always stronger in terms of decision-making and reaction over mechanical precision. In this light, Valorant is a game that fits my hands very well. It’s not a game that attempts to capture the gritty, realism-based gunplay that Counter-Strike is famous for. While the weapon handling is marginally more forgiving, this goal is most noticeable with the character abilities, which include overt sci-fi and fantasy themes.
Despite these themes, the abilities themselves are primarily tactical and utility-based, rather than the game-changing nukes and heals that other hero shooters have. Riot is attempting to bridge the gap between these two genres and do so in a distinct way from Rainbow Six: Siege on top of that. It’s a game that I can see occupying hours out of the day and captures the tension and excitement of its inspirations, albeit with the rougher edges smoothed out.
Those rough edges are part of what people love about Counter-Strike, so there is certainly space for the two to co-exist and compete, mirroring the relationship between both companies’ MOBA titles. Riot Games seems interested in the long run with their new titles and I for one look forward to seeing how Valorant and even Counter-Strike both develop as the years go on.
Valorant is a breath of fresh air when it comes to tactical shooters.
Valve’s CS: GO was always the leading contender in this category and arguably the only one due to sheer company size. There have been a few attempts to create a similar experience, but none of them were able to reach the simplicity of CS while adding something new to the scene. Enter Valorant. Developed by behemoth Riot Games, Valorant copies CS: GO’s movement mechanics, economy system, and gunplay. Although weapons are named differently and look different, there are many similarities that these two games share.
On the other hand, Valorant brings character abilities to the table, something that CS: GO doesn’t have. In CS, the traditional utilities were always grenades, smokes, flashes, and Molotovs. In Valorant, if you want to flash your enemies, you or one of your teammates have to pick either Phoenix, Breach and/or Omen. This creates a whole new dynamic as to how strategies work. If your team has none of these characters, then aggressive peaking may not be the best way to go. Instead, the team has to look at what utility is available and create new strategies on how to approach a certain situation. Valorant also comes with simple cartoony graphics that’ll also appeal to a younger audience.
There you have it, folks. Make sure to stay tuned to GOTTA BE LEGEND for more Valorant content in the near future!