eSports have been taking off lately. Names like DOTA, FIFA, League of Legends, and more are heard around the world in this new attempt to make the Olympics for gamers. Grand cash prizes and trophies are up for grabs, and investors keep the-ever practicing players in top form. Stadiums sell out, and streams offer the thrill of the game, and developers’ heads are turning. The newest player in the game is Valorant as it dives into eSports tournaments.
The leading game for eSports is undoubtedly Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, but there are plenty of games competing for its place as one of the most played and widespread tournaments in the world. The latest release, Valorant, looks to make as much of a splash, but can it compete? Read on for all the details.
What is Valorant?
Set in the near future, Valorant offers a first-person shooter where you are the hero. Choose an agent, and its abilities, then run into 13 rounds of battles to be the last man standing in the arena. Beautifully drawn agents offer a range of abilities that could rival the X Men. Some offer technological weapons with shockwaves or shields; some offer mysticism to disorient or cloak.
What sets Valorant apart is its appeal to the wander-lustful. Every arena, or map, is created to look like different corners of our world, with East Asian temples, or an industrial plant in the middle of developing desert land, or city landscapes of South America or Europe, all lovingly rendered in colorful graphics.
The learning challenge of the game is its weapons, which you have to master to gain a new one. Start with a standard pistol and work your way up to snipers and AKs. They each have a unique shooting pattern that you must master to move on.
It’s a fun and whimsical game of outlasting the other players with powers and magical creatures, and it’s hitting the ground running with its tournaments. Audiences can watch on Twitch and YouTube or take advantage of the best Valorant betting odds on reliable eSports betting sites.
What is Counter-Strike?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, on the other hand, is a game of war in its traditional sense. In this first-person shooter, you can play as either terrorist or anti-terrorist, your mission to either commit an act of terror or prevent one. Rather than offering a “last man standing” win, teams win based on whether they have achieved their mission or not.
Counter-Strike: GO is immediately what you think of when someone mentions eSports. It is one of the biggest games to get into the tournament industry, with teams competing around the world to finish their mission.
It has a great following on streaming services like Twitch, as well, with teams of gaming influencers attracted to the strategic and mission-oriented gameplay. Despite its gritty atmosphere and grim subject matter, or perhaps because of it, it gets seen by stream audiences as the funniest games to play, with influencers’ personalities clashing absurdly with the situation.
Initially, what you play between the two will come down to personal preference in tone and environment. Do you want to be in a mystical world of whimsical and frightful creatures or face the horrors of war on a gritty battlefield against other men just following orders?
Valorant, despite being released in June of 2020, has wasted no time in getting into the eSports game. The Valorant Champions Tour 2021 last chance qualifier just wrapped up on October 17, with Team Liquid once again taking victory in a 3-1 win against Guild. The initial open qualifiers started in February of 2021, and players have been competing to qualify in the championship throughout the year.
In December, the actual tournament begins, with Team Liquid joining Gambit, Acend, and Fnatic in Berlin to duke it out for victory in the championship. In between, Valorant hosts Valorant Challengers, which are regional competitions designed as qualifiers for Valorant Masters, the international mid-season competitions.
In the meantime, Counter-Strike: GO’s eSports tournaments have been going since 2013 and are the event to watch for any eSports fan. The Counter-Strike GO’s Major Championships offer prizes that are in the millions, reflecting their growing revenue, and have been broadcast in theatres and on US cable television.
This year’s eSports tournaments, PGL Major Stockholm 2021, is to be held in the Avicii Arena from October 23 with $2 million up for grabs for the winning team. It’ll see Team Liquid return, as well as Gambit, Team Vitality, and other massive names in eSports.
Valorant has a hard time on their hands to try and overtake CS:GO in the game to be the eSports championship champions, but they’re putting up a good fight. Their game is gaining good reviews, and with names like Team Liquid and Gambit competing, they should soon see a lot of eyes on their first official championship final. Follow all the action on Twitch @Valorant and YouTube @ValorantEsports.