Is Valorant the next big esports game?

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The bandwagon is full and the hype train has left the station. The intrigue around Riot Games’ new release is high and gamers are chomping at the bit to get their hands on the chance to play the new game. Twitch gave gamers the chance to take a look at Valorant only leaving more mouths salivating and fingers pulsating to play the new tactical team shooter. With expectations high over the quality of Riot Games’ new offering, Valorant is already being called the next big esports game.

So, what do we known about Valorant so far?

What is Valorant?

If you haven’t watched the game played on Twitch or just living in the dark, then you may not be ready for Riot Games’ exciting new tactical team shooter. The game is a five on five team shooter that culls together the basic gameplay elements of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends. Some of the elements of Valorant will be very similar to the two games but has enough differences to carve out an esports niche all its own.

Valorant matches are best of 25 rounds. Teams compete as attackers or defenders and swap over after 12 rounds of the game are played. The goal of the game for the attacking team is to place a bomb (also known as a spike) in one of several designated places. Meanwhile, the defensive team must stop the attacking team from planting the bomb. If it is planted, the defensive team can attempt to diffuse it.

While the attacking team attempts to plant the spike, the two teams fight against one another. A round can end if all five members of a team are killed prior to the bomb being planted. Each round lasts 100 seconds and if the attacking team is unable to plant the bomb in that time, then the defensive team claims a win.

Prior to each round, players can use money earned to purchase new guns, abilities, and amour. Players that survive the round are able to use their purchases in the following round.

Will Valorant become the next big esport title?

Although it is difficult to predict which esport game will be the next big thing, the reaction surrounding Valorant has been huge thus far. However, the team shooter market is rather saturated at the moment with some very similar games. Games like Overwatch, Fortnite, and Halo are massive games and you don’t have to be familiar with esports to have heard of these games.

Riot Games have already produced one of the biggest esports titles in the world, League of Legends. They have the pedigree to produce another top-quality esports game, although some have claimed there are a few similarities between both LoL and Valorant that some gamers could be turned off.

Perhaps one of the main reasons Valorant will become a hit has little to do with the gameplay and more with the ease in which gamers can access it. Computer system requirements are low and most laptops can run the game. This makes it possible for casual and novice gamers to discover the game and begin playing.

Valorant tournaments are already popping up all over the place. An official esports structure is likely to follow with the game having the potential of being one of the biggest in the esports sphere.

Drew Farmer
Drew’s work has appeared on a variety of sports and travel websites. He is also a published author having written the sports/travel book Soccer Travels. A keen gamer now also trying his hand at writing about Esports!