Can Valorant Take A Share of CS: GO’s Market?

There’s a new kid in town, and he’s cooler than all the other kids.


The boys are all jealous and the girls want to meet him under the kissing tree. His name is Valorant, and he’s from an exotic land … like California. It seems pretty exotic anyway, to the folks in our made-up little story here who live in … hmm, let’s see … Decorah, Iowa.


Anyhow, All the kids used to hang out with CS: GO, the OG kid in town, then along came a transplant named Overwatch, who caught everyone’s attention and split the pack. Some of CS; GO’s friends started hanging out with him less and less, dividing their time between him and Overwatch. But now … Valorant is here and the packs are dividing again.


OK … all jesting aside, why is Valorant making waves in the FPS communities?




Hype, Hype, and More Hype

Valorant had a closed beta testing and before it was even finished … the gaming community was already drooling. Part of the reason was its native key drop on Twitch, making beta streaming pervasive on the channel. It’s become so popular so quickly that it’s already disrupting other eSports scenes.


How So?

In recent months, a handful of professional players from both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch announced that they’ll be leaving their respective leagues and joining Valorant.

On top of the fact that there are top players currently abandoning Overwatch and CS: GO to play Valorant, but the mechanics are quite similar to CS: GO and graphically it resembles Overwatch a bit. So it makes sense that this game will end up as instant competition and steal a portion of the FSP pie.


But will it get to the level of CS: GO? CS: GO has daily tournament matches going on throughout most of the year. Well, that is tough to tell at the moment. Valorant tournaments haven’t really gotten underway yet. So, we’ll have to do a bit of speculation as to how the tournaments will work, given the game mechanics.


There are four character types to choose from, the Infiltrator, Sentinel, Duelist, and Controller. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses and specific mechanics. Competitive play will be interesting because much like CS: GO, you can be killed with a single shot, and won’t respond until the next round. So, a likely way that we would see competitive play is a bunch of rounds on a single map, say 25, and the first team to 13 wins. A couple of other mechanics that can make competitive play interesting is the fact that certain abilities can facilitate health regeneration during the round. Additionally, between rounds, you can use the points earned during gameplay to upgrade or change weapons.


Tournament or match format could go something like teams switching from attacking team to defending the team after 6 or 12 rounds. Of course, full team elimination would be a way for either side to win regardless of objective-based points.


Still, this is a long way off from competing with CS: GO and OWL on a grand level. The other thing that would need to happen is bookmakers in Vegas and offshore would need to get on board. The fact that you can bet on OWL and CS: GO shows how popular the games are. It also shows that there are historical data and enough current information for the bookmakers to confidently line the matches out. Once you can bet on the matches, it brings a whole new audience into the mix and really shows that the title has ‘arrived’.


So, I think Valorant is still pretty far away from stealing all of OWL and CS: GO’s bread and butter … that said, I’ll bet that in the everyday average gamer consumer market, it will gain a lot of steam and compete quite quickly.