Riot Games, the developer of the famous MOBA game League of Legends, released their latest game just this June 2 of 2020. As free-to-play multiplayer tactical FPS, Valorant has been creating a lot of hype ever since the game's closed beta release in April. As a result of this, some professional players and well-known streamers have begun to switch from their respective games to Valorant. How might this affect professional gaming?
Game DesignAn easy way to describe Valorant would be to call it a cross between Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch.
In Valorant, teams play 25 rounds of a "bomb scenario mission" as it may be called in CS:GO. This means that you have to score 13 rounds to win a match. Teams play as either the attackers (similar to the terrorists), or the defenders (similar to the counter-terrorists). The attackers carry a bomb called a "spike" which they must plant and successfully detonate at one of the bombsites to win the match. Attackers may also choose to eliminate the defending team to win. On the other hand, defenders have to defuse the spike before it explodes, or eliminate the entire team of attackers to win.
There are 17 different guns, each with a recoil pattern unique to itself. An in-game firing range is available for you to practice your aim and get a hang of the different spray patterns for each weapon.
Just as in Overwatch, the heroes in Valorant — that are called "Agents" — have unique ultimate abilities as well. They aren't as overpowered as the skills in Overwatch though, which add to a more balanced gameplay. It will be important to get a good grasp of each agent's abilities to find what suits you the most. Forging the best mix of agents to create a team with good synergy will be an important factor in winning games.
It's important to note that not all the agents will be available to use at the start. At the beginning you will only have access to five agents out of the 11 existing ones. The rest have to be unlocked by earning experience through playing or by spending Valorant Points to gain instant access.
Popular Players Who Have Switched to ValorantJay 'Sinatraa' Won, an Overwatch player from the team San Francisco Shock, the MVP of the 2019 Overwatch League tweeted on April 29 that he was going to move to Valorant.
HyP, eMIL, George Gushcha, and Far, are among other fairly well-known personalities that are quitting Overwatch for Valorant.
Now on the CS:GO side of things we have players like Tyson 'Tenz' Ngo from Cloud9, Ryan 'Freakazoid' Abadir, and Adil 'Scream' Benrlitom leaving the CS:GO scene to focus on Valorant instead. Jordan 'Zellsis' Montemurro who placed 9th with Cloud 9 at the IEM Katowice has also announced his switch to Valorant.
Why Are These Players Switching?Riot Games has a the biggest and most successful e-sport under its name — League of Legends. Because of the name that Riot has made for itself in the industry, it's safe to assume that the e-sports community is going to have lots of support for Riot's future endeavors, including Valorant. With the amount of sponsors who have built up trust with Riot due to League, Valorant might just be the next profitable game. If the games takes off well, it will be very rewarding for the players involved.
In personal statements, players have also said that they've enjoyed playing the new game or have grown tired of their old games. All in all, professional players have been switching games ever since — it's only a natural occurrence. Players have switched from PUBG to Apex, and from TF2 to Overwatch, but those gaming communities are still very much alive. From the looks of it, gaming communities might even continue to grow — so none of these switches should really worry anyone so much.
The most important thing here is that everyone enjoys the games that they play! As always, happy gaming, everybody!