Is Valorant killing CSGO? The fight between Riot and Valve

csgo vs valorant

Many professional players and some teams have recently voiced their belief that Riot Games’ new Valorant game can soon surpass Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) in the first-person tactical shooter segment. But why do they make such statements and what can CSGO developer, Valve, do about this?

When it comes to developing new talent, Valorant seems to be dominating CSGO. There was a time when CSGO could not find new talent, when young players rarely had the opportunity to step out into the big tournaments. Over the years, a few have succeeded, but the majority have not had a chance.

Evil Geniuses’ Tarik “tarik” Celek has spoken out on Twitter, warning of the problem many CSGO fans are concerned about. CSGO has been the most popular first-person shooter esports game for almost 8 years. But that was before Riot Games launched Valorant earlier this summer, creating a new fever. Everyone wants to try a new FPS game, especially since Valorant blends CSGO shooting mechanics and Overwatch skill sets. We can’t deny Valorant was a huge hit.

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When Valorant launched, many talented young CSGO players jumped into the game. But the gameplay wasn’t what made them quit CSGO. The reason lies in Riot Games, the developer considered to be the one who shaped modern esports. When the developer regained the rights to host League of Legends from third parties like ESL, Riot turned esports into a more stable and polished product. That not only attracts players, but also creates attraction for participating teams and organizations.

The CSGO PGL Major is a lesson in how bad things can go. Even when a Valve representative was present at the tournament, a lot of people complained about the production quality, delays and the unappealing experience despite the Major being considered the biggest CSGO tournament of the year. Majors are considered CSGO World Finals. The best teams around the world face off against each other to find out who is the “strongest” team until the next Major. But with third parties vying for bids to organize, and then suing for DMCA copyrights against famous CSGO streamers and event narrators – and sometimes poor organization, it seems. Quality problems are unlikely to be improved in the long run.

History shows that Riot is a better tournament organizer than Valve

On the one hand, Riot has established itself as not only a great game developer but also an excellent tournament organizer. Instead of hiring third parties, Riot set up its own production team, caster and analysis team. While Riot builds its own empire, Valve focuses on Steam, and possibly their MOBA darling, Dota 2. Abandoned CSGO takes care of itself.

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T1 won at Worlds

When Blizzard announced the Overwatch League, their own franchise in Overwatch, a lot of organizations jumped in. But the craze around the league has waned, and some of the top organizations, like Team Liquid, never seem ready to put their money in.

Things were very different when Valorant came out. Riot took a more patient approach, and Team Liquid was one of the organizations that announced it would be making a roster for Valorant.

Organizations trust Riot Games, not Valorant

Trusting game developers and publishers in esports is far more important than putting trust in the game itself. Brand tournaments and intellectual property are important to organizations like Team Liquid. They avoided the Overwatch League but accepted to join Valorant. As can be seen, Team Liquid trusts Riot.

Not just North America. Even the G2 European organization, which just bought NiKo in CSGO with a huge amount of money, invested a lot in Valorant.

“In Counter-Strike, all you care about is the game mechanics… In two years, Valorant will be the top 5 esports. Counter-Strike will be the top 8,” said G2 owner ocelote.

While we don’t explain why we think so, we can understand that Riot plays an important role, motivating many organizations to be willing to invest in a product less than 6 months old. Valorant is not just gameplay, because Counter-Strike and Overwatch both have their own charms. But those two games are not from Riot, the studio has proven that they can not only organize esports tournaments, but can do it professionally and in the long run.

Ultimately, Valve’s unwillingness or inability to take full control of professional Counter-Strike could end up handing Valorant the throne. The error is not in the game. Riot shows that they put a lot of effort into making Valorant a success. Contrary to Valve, organizations will continue to believe in Riot, because Riot has proven they can do it. Until Valve goes further and proves it can do everything, which Riot Games does, Valorant will surpass CSGO in the same way that Riot surpassed Valve as a tournament organizer.

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