Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is THE premiere shooter of the Esports industry (fight me). With that said, CS:GO has not been without its fair share of rivals. The latest of which is Valorant.
A free-to-play first-person shooter, Valorant will put ten players in two teams of five to defend or detonate a spike. In each round, players will select an agent which possess a unique set of abilities. Now, this is starting to sound like CS:GO with a mix of Overwatch? Well, if you think that you’re not wrong. But that’s not the only way the gameplay differs and for those that are calling Valorant a clone game it isn’t.
Ultimately, on the surface, both Valorant and CS:GO look quite similar. Valorant rewards precision shooting, quick reflexes, and skill, along with teamwork, just as CS:GO does. But why not just play CS:GO? Well here’s why.
Valorant and CS:GO Have Similar Core Gameplays
First things first, let’s just get it out there and talk about the similarities between Valorant and CS:GO. We’ll start with the shooting mechanic of both shooters, which is near identical.
In both Valorant and CS:GO, hard work, practice, and talent are rewarded. Players who can land precise shots will be able to take down opponents instantly with the right weapons. Not to mention, both games punish aimless spraying by drastically reducing accuracy. Anyone who’s ever watched both former and current CS:GO professional players stream Valorant know that both games require the same methodical approach. If you want to learn more about mastering the shooting mechanics in Valorant check out our guide.
Appart from shooting just like in CS:GO, you can’t just move quickly from one corner to another in Valorant. You’ll have to be deliberate with your movements. You’ll need to know when and how to peek around corners. Otherwise, you’ll end up getting yourself and your teammates killed just by rushing into battle.
Similarly, weapons and shields have nearly the same function in both titles, albeit under different names. Case in point, whereas CS:GO has the “Kevlar Vest and Helmet”, Valorant too has the “Light” and “Heavy”.
Valorant Has Player Abilities
Unlike in CS:GO where all of the agents remain functionally the same, in Valorant, each of their agents differs greatly from the other. Phoenix can cast a wall of fire, Cypher has his remote activation traps and Sage can even resurrect a fallen ally. There are 11 agents released now at launch and to read more about them and their abilities you can check out our article here.
Unlike in Overwatch, though, where much of the attention and focus is on how players use these abilities, Valorant remains adamant on rewarding players for skilful aim and gunplay. This is because you have to put your gun away first before you can use an ability. What this also means is that players will have to decide quickly in the middle of battle. Otherwise, a player could find himself getting cornered with no ability to fight back as his or her gun is not in play.
If we were to describe the pace of the gameplay, it will be right in the middle of Overwatch and CS:GO.
Unlike in Overwatch where the action can feel frenetic most of the time, in Valorant, movement and positioning remain critical. However, the gameplay is still faster compared to CS:GO, because of how certain agents have access to abilities that allow them to traverse the map faster compared to others.
Riot’s Commitment to High-Quality Gameplay
One of Riot’s main selling points for Valorant is the company’s commitment to 128-tick servers with less than 35ms latency for players in major cities all over the world.
In comparison, Valve’s servers default to 64-tick. Although 128-tick servers are available, access is limited. Often, players can only play on 128-tick servers via ESEA and FACEIT, as well as LAN tournaments.
This might not sound like a big deal for casual players, but for aspiring professionals, it’s everything.
In a game like Valorant where players rely heavily on their mechanical skills such as aiming and fast reflexes, public access to servers that can process information at least two times faster than most other servers is crucial. Not to mention, 128-tick servers guarantee that matchmaking in Valorant can keep up with the demands of its fast-paced gameplay.
24/7 Anti-Cheat Software
Many games today have anti-cheat software. However, only a few developers implement them to such an extent that the software is always on. Riot wants to make Valorant one of the few games that do just that.
Unlike other titles where cheaters are able to find a way to bypass the anti-cheat software during the booting phase, Valorant will have an anti-cheat software that’s always on. This helps guarantee players a more levelled playing field where matches are constantly monitored, and cheaters banned as soon as they are spotted.
How Successful Can Valorant Be?
Riot Games have already proven that they know what it takes to develop a game from humble beginnings to a worldwide phenomenon in League of Legends. With significantly more resources than they first started, there’s little doubt that they’ll be able to do it again.
As a game, Valorant is an amalgamation of various shooters from the past two to three decades. However, somehow, and some way, Riot has found a way to throw everything together that Valorant feels like a totally different game, one worth mentioning in the same breath as Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Whether Valorant will be able to dethrone CS:GO is not something we can answer.
Ultimately, we do see the two games coexisting and benefitting from each other. This means that they won’t just compete but that the two communities might coexist in the future. Who knows? The player base and viewers, as well as the talents, might even overlap with each other. Besides, when all is said and done, the real winners are us, the players.
Having yet another premier shooter to watch out for, this time from one of their main rivals might very well force Valve to devote more of their resources towards Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.