Streaming star Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek definitely thinks Valorant has the potential to be as big an esport as CSGO, but not without facing some serious challenges if it hopes to reach that level.
Valorant is Riot’s first foray into the first-person shooter scene, and it can definitely be considered one of the success stories of 2020 boasting a large, steady player base that’s made it one of the most popular games of the year.
Despite its popularity shroud, perhaps accurately, predicts that it faces some serious hurdles if it ever wants to reach the same level of popularity that CSGO saw during its glory days.
The former CSGO pro said he thinks Valorant has the potential to become as big as Counter Strike, but he’s not sure it will ever happen.
“The beauty of CS was that it’s very easy to watch, you know you’re grandma could watch it and be like, ‘oh this person shoots this person,'” the Canadian streamer told viewers.
“But Valorant, it’s still the same thing, this person shoots this person, but what’s confusing about it is everyone looks the same, and everyone’s casting abilities.”
Unlike CSGO which splits teams up into the very distinguishable terrorists and counter-terrorists, Valorant has players all picking from the same pool of heroes, similar to Overwatch. If you play the game it’s not that big of an issue, but it does present challenges to the casual observer.
Shroud’s also correct that the abilities can be confusing too. One of the biggest problems Overwatch esports face is that it’s hard to tell from an observer POV what’s going on when everyone is popping abilities. It doesn’t get as muddled in Valorant, but doesn’t make it any easier to watch, either.
“As great as Valorant is to watch, I think it’s going to be very challenging for a grandma to watch,” he added. “But that doesn’t matter, Valorant has so many players, that all it needs is the players to watch. Just like League of Legends.”
Timestamp at 6:35 for mobile viewers.
Shroud could definitely be on to something here, since LoL (another Riot IP) is one of the biggest video games and esports out there, but a very large percentage of the fanbase is made up by people who actively play the game and understand it.
“League of Legends has so many players, it doesn’t matter if your grandma can’t watch it, the game’s huge,” the streamer continued. “So that’s all Valorant has to as well, just make their game f***ing awesome, and the views will come.”