Why so many Esport Professionals are moving to Valorant
Announced under the codename Project A in 2019, Valorant managed to win over a huge part of the gaming community even before it was launched. During the closed beta phase, it’s presence on twitch was near impossible to avoid, thanks to Riot Game’s excellent marketing strategy. Popular streamers were streaming the game with key drops enabled to their channels which not only increased their view count by a significant margin but also kept the hype train going. Within a few weeks of the beta phase, Valorant accounts were selling for around $150 on eBay. With all these happening, Valorant became one of those few games which managed to get and maintain a position on the top ten games browsed on Twitch during beta. Today, we take a closer look at why this game is getting so much attention that even established esport professionals are switching to Valorant.
Let’s talk about the game first. Valorant is a 5v5 character-based tactical shooter game. While it has a striking resemblance with other popular first-person shooters like CS:GO and Overwatch, it also has its own ability based character set which makes the game so much different and enjoyable. During the closed beta phase, streamers who were new or did not have a sizeable amount of viewers starting temporarily streaming the game as it almost guaranteed an increase in viewer count. But the thing is over the last couple of months, we have seen quite a number of CS:GO and Overwatch professionals leave their respective game to join in the Valorant pro scene. It’s completely understandable why casual players are dipping into the ‘next big thing’ from their main game but retiring from the game where you have an ongoing career and starting to play another game is so much difficult. We get that there’s a whole lot of confusion regarding why these players are doing so but we might have some explanation.
Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won, last year’s Overwatch League MVP and World Cup champion recently, left Overwatch, and joined Valorant and is currently playing for Team Sentinels. The transition of Overwatch’s biggest star was shocking to the whole OWL community.
In a TwitLonger post, he stated that he straight up lost passion for the game. Again, we know that there are concerns regarding the future of Overwatch. The game is losing its player base. Though Overwatch 2 is announced, most fans are complaining about the lack of new and original content as almost every event was met with disdain from the community. Apart from Sinatraa, Damien ‘HyP’ Souville, Corey Nigra and others are also leaving to pursue a career in Valorant. We get the same reply from them as well as they stated they were not enjoying the game.
The move from CS:GO to Valorant is somewhat interesting. We see retired players like Spencer ‘Hiko’ Martin and Tyler ‘Skadoodle’ Latham returning to the pro scene through Valorant. Also, we see familiar faces like Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo, Ryan ‘Freakazoid’ Abadir, Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom, Braxton ‘Swag’ Pierce and Michael ‘dapr’ Gulino switching to Valorant. Other than these, we have talents from low-tier teams like Nathan ‘leaf’ Orf and Jordan ‘Zellsis’ Montemurro giving Valorant a fair try. The main reason is the lack of financial support in lower tiers. Tarik ‘tarik’ Celik tweeted that it makes sense for CS pro playing without salaries to try out Valorant. Pros in the lower league are not getting their adequate salary by playing and are mostly ‘forced’ to move out of the scene since sponsors are not interested in the top 15 teams or so. With a new game, they see an opportunity to grow and thus, the transfer is understandable while for others like Oscar ’mixwell’ Cañellas, this is only a matter of preference as he announced that he will no longer compete in CS:GO and will be playing Valorant representing the same team he joined back in 2018, G2 Esports.
Lastly, we have players from other games like Fortnite and Dota 2 switching to Valorant. Team Liquid’s Jake ‘Poach’ Brumleve has quit his current game of choice because he wants to build his new career in the new FPS.
That’s how we are thinking about the situation. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. We also went through the potential reasons why Valorant is getting so much hyped in India. Click here to check it out.