A few weeks ago I received an invitation for Riot Games‘ newest game: Valorant. The first time I heard about it was during Riots 10th anniversary celebration of League of Legends. It was somewhat around 3:00 or 4:00 AM; I was working all day because of the Worlds 2019 Groupe Stage at that time.
The then called „Project A“ seemed like a mixture of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and games like Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch. After watching the first gameplay video, called „The Round“, I was fully convinced that Riot has something special at its hand, even though I might not become its biggest fan.
If you have to break it down: Valorant is offering a gameplay mix of CS:GO, R6S and Overwatch. At least to me.
At the beginning of each round, players buy weapons (CS:GO) and position themselves in front of barriers, which are keeping the players from roaming around the map (Overwatch) before the round starts – or different places on the map depending which side you’re on. The teams are split between „Attacker“ and „Defender“ (R6S).
Each player represents a different so-called Agent with unique skills (R6S, Overwatch). In contrast to the Overwatch-Heroes Agents aren’t able to use their skills indefinitely – they had to be bought at the beginning of every round but will be inherited to the next if not used or spent.
Right now Valorant offers three different maps – Split, Haven and Bind, with one game mode – plant the Spike (CS:GO, R6S), defuse it or wipe out the whole enemy team.
The gunplay itself is the core mechanic of Valroant and offers the biggest resemblance to the current go-to-esports-shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The weapons are heavily influenced by Valves game. Each gun feels like a more fantastic version of its CS:GO counterpart. The Operator (Valorant) is basically the AWP, while the Specter (Valorant) resembles the MP5 (CS:GO).
Riot already announced that the company is planning on starting an esports scene for the game. Further information are yet to be released. Even though I think Valorant might be a formidable alternative to Counter-Strike, it won’t become „the end“ or „killer game“ for CS:GOs reign as the supreme esports-Shooter. It will find its audience like Rainbow Six Siege did, which is to be honest and basically an evolved version of Counter-Strike.
Right now the game itself is still in closed beta and will be released sometime during 2020.