Team Liquid’s star entry fragger has plans to enter Valorant, but he’s in no hurry.
Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip revealed on his stream that he does eventually plan to transfer to Valorant, but he claims that the switch will not happen anytime soon. For now, Stewie2K will continue to rifle for Team Liquid’s CSGO roster.
In a stream on August 15, Stewie2k discussed the idea of a Valorant watch party with TSM FTX’s Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik. On the subject of pro players switching to Valorant, Stewie2K casually dropped that he plans to switch to Valorant at some point in his career.
“I’m not making the switch, but I will eventually.” he said.
Stewie2K has played Valorant casually before but doesn’t seem very invested in the game at the moment. He was unable to identify recently added characters such as Astra and KAY/O. The major winner has played dozens of different competitive games on Twitch, but he’s never hinted at leaving CSGO for any of them. Stewie2K has played CSGO professionally since a surprise signing with Cloud9 in 2016.
“I was saying that I didn’t know who Astra was, I thought that she was Phoenix’s sister. I thought that Astra was the character that (Joshua “steel” Nissan) was playing, the robot-looking dude.” he said.
It’s possible that Stewie2K was trolling or just wasn’t overly serious about it, but dozens of CSGO pros have made the jump to Valorant. While most of them have been young upstarts or veterans in need of a career reset, there have been enough elite-level players to make the jump that it wouldn’t be overly surprising if Stewie2K announced the move.
Stewie2k would be far from the only CSGO pro to move to Valorant. Nearly all of Valorant’s top professionals have experience in CSGO, including several stars like Matthew “Wardell” Yu and Tyson “TenZ” Ngo. Valorant is meant to be a direct competitor for CSGO, which previously held a monopoly on tactical shooter esports.
As for why they switch, Riot Games tends to cultivate esports scenes better than Valve, making for more lucrative opportunities for pro players. Professional CSGO players who are still fairly successful, or just don’t like Valorant, have no reason to switch. CSGO still has a great deal of money trading hands. However, Valorant could adopt a League of Legends-style regional circuit system in the future. This would provide consistent training opportunities, play schedules, and salaries. Top players in Riot Games’ signature title, League of Legends, make millions per year just in salary, and CSGO simply can’t match that.