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Is Valorant the New CS:GO? An Analysis of the Market

CS:GO first launched for PC in late 2012. Since then, the game has dominated the competitive shooter scene. From casual enjoyment to betting and even massive professional tournaments, there’s no one out there who plays games and hasn’t come across the immensely popular shooter. However, in 2020 Riot Games came along with an alternative, a game that blended the intense CS:GO gameplay with elements from other highly competitive shooters such as Overwatch and Rainbow Six Seige. That game is Valorant, what many people call the new CS:GO. In this article, we’ll be covering several aspects of these games to see whether or not Valorant has actually outdone the progenitor of all competitive shooters.

Whether Valorant is better or worse than CS:GO is subjective depending on who you ask. Some players prefer Valve’s original design because of how simple it is and how hard to cheat in competitive matches it’s become. With Valorant, everything is still fresh and new, but the matches are a lot more complex. That complexity is what puts some players off of moving into Riot Games’ shooter.

Let’s look at some of the key aspects of the competitive shooter community to see whether Valorant has become the new CS:GO or not.

Betting

A huge part of the competitive shooter scene is the CS:GO and Valorant betting sites that create an economy around it. These sites are run by companies that allow fans to bet on all types of matches, from competitive to casual. Players even bet among themselves outside of these official sites, which is why this is such an ingrained part of competitive shooters as a whole.

CS:GO betting has seen its share of controversy in the past, but for the most part, all bets are above board. There’s even an economy around the betting that allows players to access new skins too. Valorant betting, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have become quite as sophisticated yet. Players may bet on competitive matches or their favorite streamers, but currently, there’s nothing that pushes players to make more bets in the hopes of accessing extremely rare skins.

Mechanics

Now let’s get into the games themselves. As we’ve previously mentioned, each one has similar mechanics, but they’re not exactly the same.

CS:GO

In CS:GO, players take part in matches across a few different game modes. These don’t stray too far from deathmatch or bomb planting variations, but that’s because there are enough maps to keep each match interesting and unique. Players work together with friends or other random players and use their map knowledge and skill with the game’s weapons to beat the enemy team.

Everything in CS:GO is very grounded. You won’t find any supernatural abilities here. That’s part of what makes the shooter so accessible. There aren’t any fancy mechanics to learn. It’s all about being the best player with the characters as they come. No matter how much time you put into the game, everyone can access the same weapons and skins, so you need to be good to win.

Valorant

Valorant is very different. There are multiple game modes, maps, and characters to play as. Across each game mode, the rules are about as fair as they are in CS:GO. The same variation in the maps exists here as it does in CS:GO. It’s the characters that make the difference though.

In Valorant, players can take on the role of one of a range of specific characters similar to Overwatch. These characters have abilities that make them special and unique. Players can use those abilities together with others to synergize their skills and make some truly devastating tactical moves.

You might be terrible at shooting in Valorant, but if you know how to use a certain character extremely well, it doesn’t matter. You can still win every match as long as you have the right synergy to work with. This is just one area where Valorant surpasses CS:GO as a competitive shooter, though only for those who enjoy hero shooter mechanics.

Replayability

It’s a good idea to look at just how replayable each game is. Players can pour hundreds of hours into both, but not for exactly the same reasons.

CS:GO

After a while, CS:GO can feel like a grind. Players earn in-game cash to buy skins. There’s even a battle pass to work through now, but for the most part, that’s all there is to play for. After a while, each match begins to feel the same. The reason people replay CS:GO matches over and over again is to practice getting good at competitive matches on every map. That means there’s a lot of repeating the same moves.

Valorant

While there’s a lot of the same move practice repetition in Valorant, casual and competitive players can have more fun by simply joining random matches. Each character is so unique that you can get a completely different experience with the game by trying out someone new. If you’re bored of playing the same role after 10 hours, you can swap to a new one and get some new experiences, thanks to how dynamic every match is. In this way, Valorant is superior to CS:GO, as long as players are looking for fresh new experiences every now and then.

Graphics and Performance

CS:GO is a much older game than Valorant. While Valve has updated it regularly for support purposes, it doesn’t look much better than when it first launched. Playing on better hardware can improve the graphics and performance to a degree, but the game will always be the same for the most part.

Valorant is a more recent release, meaning the graphics are better right off the bat. Riot Games also has experience with competitive online games thanks to League of Legends and is aware that regular graphical updates are required to keep players interested and engaged. Overall, Valorant performs well, but those graphics do mean that players with older hardware might not have the best experience.

Since CS:GO is older, it’s able to run on a wider range of hardware, aided by a lower graphical requirement.

Conclusion

Overall, there are a lot of differences between CS:GO and Valorant. They’re similar games yes, but they are also completely unique in their own right. Those who prefer a more realistic shooter stick to CS:GO, there’s nothing to give you an edge apart from your own skill. With Valorant, players can live a fantasy as a hero with powers and have a competitive experience. Ultimately it’s down to what each player wants. Both shooters will live on as long as people are interested in playing them. If the shift moves away from realistic shooters though, then CS:GO’s time may soon be up.

This is a guest post.

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