Olivia R. October 19, 2020
"Valorant's just gonna hit, and it's gonna hit hard."
Former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pro turned Valorant streamer Michael "shroud" Grzesiek believes that Riot's tactical shooter will become the bigger esport, especially once live tournaments return and teams from North America and Europe can compete together.
"It has the perfect recipe right now," shroud said. "If Valorant nails the timing of coming to LAN and tournaments are popping off, it's going to blow the fuck up. Even more than it already has."
A fan followed up by asking if Valorant will take the top spot in FPS esports.
"Oh, yeah. Easily," shroud responded.
Will Valorant become a bigger esport than CSGO?
Ever since the closed beta earlier this year, shroud has been saying that Valorant will become more popular than CSGO.
"Do I think Valorant will overtake CS? Probably. I just think it's a much easier game to get into. It's much more pleasing to the eye, a little more casual. Counter-Strike is a bit more hardcore," shroud said at the time.
But even when it comes to hardcore and competitive play, shroud believes Valorant will have the upperhand. On his earlier stream, shroud noted that CSGO's numbers "are dipping." shroud added that CSGO "strives on LAN," which could be why CSGO esports viewership has been down in this online era, but most gamers noticed a drop in CSGO players when Valorant's closed beta arrived.
In June, there was a dip in interest in CSGO thanks to Valorant's debut. It was estimated that Valorant stole around 500,000 players from CSGO. This included a lot of well-known CSGO veterans and pros, making the competitive side also a bit more appealing than Counter-Strike's.
With the introduction of Valorant's Ignition Series and the frequent high-stakes tournaments, esports fans have been able to watch top FPS pros compete in the popular new shooter. When LAN events return and teams from all over the world can clash on stage, shroud predicts Valorant will only become bigger. So big, in fact, that it will outshine CSGO at that point.