Valorant: The Story Behind the New ESports Hit


Last June 2, 2020, Riot Games, the creator of the hit multiplayer online battle arena game League of Legends, released Valorant. A new free-to-play multiplayer tactical first-person shooter game. Started in 2014 by the people behind League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Half-Life 2, and Team Fortress 2, the game came out in October 2019 under the tentative title Project A. The game officially made its way to the online community on March 1, 2020, through The Round, a gameplay video on YouTube, its closed beta was launched on April 7 and ended on May 28.

As soon as it came out, the game became the talk of the gaming community. During its beta launch alone, the game broke the single-day hours watched record. That’s in a single game category with 34 million hours watched. Moreover, it has hit a peak concurrent viewer total of 1.7 million. Valorant was also compared to other hit shooting games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch. To add things up, professional ESports players are switching to Valorant too. The Mixwell’s teammates who are former CS: GO players and Jay “sinatraa” Won who was the reigning MVP of Overwatch ESports. What is the reason behind the hype?


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Valorant Game Features

The concept of Valorant isn’t entirely unfamiliar to the gaming community. It fairly uses elements that are present in other games. That explains why it is always looking into the other games as well. To start, Valorant uses the gameplay of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive where there are two teams of five members who will be attempting to plant a bomb. Aside from that, it also has the class-based features of Overwatch. The combination of these notable and familiar features from established games plus the fact that it is a free-to-play game that draws players, not just the professionals, into Valorant. However, just because it’s familiar means that it’s easy. Valorant still has its deep gameplay. Most players still require to acquire high skills in order to get along with its other nuances.

Aside from that, Valorant’s fast servers are attracting players. According to an article, the game developers are prioritizing speed and stability in the game. Fair play or lagging, which is caused by computer specs or internet connection may not be an issue anymore. This matter is because Riot Games are said to be using 128-tick servers, which might certainly be a good thing. Through this, shots or attacks where the player swore it would hit the opponent but didn’t expect to decrease significantly. Although, this is not necessary, since it takes too much energy and it is also expensive. This matter is something that Riot Games seems to be willing to bite to make the game successful and to respond to the player’s needs.


“Lost Passion”

The familiarity of Valorant and its game features aren’t just enough to make professional ESports players suddenly switch gears. The lost within the passion is the common denominator among the players that made them go for Valorant. In a Twitter note, Sinatraa expressed his “lost passion for the game”. Aside from him, eight professional ESports players left Overwatch as well for the same reason. Besides, they have expressed how the game is exhausting, and it is no longer worth it. Hunter “SicK” Mims also announced his departure from CS: GO for the same reasons. On the other hand, Zander “wife” Kim, left Fortnite saying that it hasn’t been the same and he enjoys Valorant more now.

The lost passion within these players which is through the “stale and tedious” state of their games is what led them into Valorant, a game that is new but at the same time not too unfamiliar. Valorant is the game that responds to their current taste; it is a breath of fresh air after a long time of grinding for the same game. But at the same time, it won’t be hard for them to adjust since the gameplay. Since it isn’t new to them plus the nuances that only existed in Valorant such as the fast servers and deep gameplay.