Top Korean CSGO team MVP PK shuts down to focus on Valorant

Steven R. May 1, 2020

Team MVP, the organization behind Counter-Strike: Global Offensive squad MVP PK, is withdrawing from the tactical shooter. The Korean brand announced that it will instead focus its efforts on Riot Games’ new title, Valorant.

The news was first reported by Fomos.

MVP has been a constant presence in Asia’s competitive CSGO scene since 2015, with the formation of the MVP Project Team. MVP formed a second team, MVP PK, in 2016 before consolidating the two teams under the PK banner in 2017. 

The organization never posted a strong placement in any noteworthy CSGO events outside of the Asian region. The team won a number of Asian and Oceanic tournaments over the years, but consistently flopped in bigger tournaments like ESL One Cologne 2019 and the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals.

Despite having a fairly stable roster over the years, MVP PK was completely dissolved in late 2019. A new all-Korean lineup was formed, but the team competed just a few times in small events and qualifiers. The squad was relegated out of the ESL Pro League’s Asian division in season 10 and failed to qualify for the ESL One Rio Asian Minor. This latest string of failures may have played a role in MVP's decision to walk away from the game.

Is the CSGO pro scene taking a hit from Valorant?

League of Legends publisher Riot Games is currently in the process of releasing its own tactical shooter, Valorant. The game has garnered the attention of both pro players and organizations from across esports. Valorant is currently in a closed beta.

One of the largest topics of discussion surrounding Valorant has been which established esports titles will be most adversely impacted by its release. 

From a casual perspective, Counter-Strike seems to be unaffected at this point. The game has continually found new player count highs over the last few months and that doesn’t seem to have slowed down even as Valorant has gained in popularity. 

But at the professional level, CSGO is perhaps the most vulnerable game of all. Games like Overwatch and Call of Duty have franchised leagues which have a set number of teams and guidelines regarding pro player pay. CSGO has no such safety net.

Though MVP leaving CSGO isn’t particularly devastating on its own, it could be that a slew of other similarly positioned organizations are going to reduce their commitment to CSGO or dissolve their teams entirely in order to focus on what might be the next big esports title.