Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek has brought up the Valorant vs CS:GO multiple times this year and has spoken highly of Valorant because of how well Riot Games supports its game. But in his latest take, he is “not sure” if Valorant’s esports scene will ever be as big as CS:GO. He thinks Valorant faces some serious challenges right now that need to be addressed if it wants to be successful.
Riot Games is best known for League of Legends, a global phenomenon in esports with over 115 million players. The company pushed out Valorant earlier this year, which was their first foray into the first-person shooter scene. The game grew quickly, and we have pro players who quit CS:GO, Overwatch and other games to cash in on the game’s esports scene. The game already had international level tournaments with its First Strike grand finals concluding today and the global Championship Tour is scheduled for next year. But despite all of this, why does Shroud think that Valorant might not have what it takes to be as big as CS:GO?
The streamer thinks that Valorant is not as easy to watch as CS:GO. Valve’s game is much simpler and does not involve flashy abilities, and even someone new to the game can understand what’s going on. He said “The beauty of CS was that it’s very easy to watch, you know your grandma could watch it and be like, ‘oh, this person shoots this person.' But Valorant, it’s still the same thing, this person shoots this person, but what’s confusing about it is everyone looks the same, and everyone’s casting abilities.”
The related segment starts at 6:35.
CS:GO has terrorists and counter-terrorists, and they are easily distinguishable. But in Valorant, you can have the same agents on both teams, which can be very confusing. You also have abilities that get introduced to the game every time a new agent is added, making it difficult for anyone who does not play the game to keep up with what’s going on as a spectator. CS:GO’s appeal as an esport is its simplicity and that is what makes it so popular for viewers.
Many pro players and content creators compare both games, and Valorant was supposed to be the “CS:GO killer” at launch. It did cause a drop in the CS:GO player count initially but despite its release, CS:GO went on to break its concurrent player base record multiple times. It also took over DOTA 2’s record of 1.3 million players in April 2020.