Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev’s stream has once again reignited the infamous Valorant versus Counter-Strike: Global Offensive debate with Operator at its center.
Riot’s tactical shooter has heavily rocked CSGO esports, roping in some of the biggest stars like Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, Ethan “Ethan” Arnold, Spencer “Hiko” Martin, and many more. Valorant’s undeniable similarities with CSGO were a huge selling point that attracted many players. The game patched up the classic FPS experience with fiercely styled agents and bright maps. However, weapons are more or less the same. A new debate amongst pros is proving that the impact of these weapons depends highly on gameplay.
Valorant’s Operator, also known as “OP,” has remained in the crosshairs of the critics since the beta version. s1mple’s recent stream has once again dragged the Sniper into the spotlight.
s1mple slammed the Valorant’s sniper OP and called it a “shit weapon” during his Twitch livestream. Kenny “kennyS” Schrub also backed up s1mple’s remarks and said that the weapon could use a buff. Their comments triggered a whole new discussion among CSGO and Valorant professional players.
TenZ, who previously commented that Operator is tough to contest, said it isn’t overpowered but it punishes aggressive peekers.
Seeing some talks about the operator again on my feed, never thought it was overpowered but people just don’t use their abilities to smoke off or push off common Op angles. Gun is legit made to punish people ego peeking and taking unnecessary duels
— TenZ / Tyson (SEN) (@TenZOfficial) March 25, 2021
Team Liquid’s Lucas “Mendo” Håkansson responded and said that Operator’s efficacy depends highly on game mode and team communication.
But in ranked, it’s extremely easy to use, extremely oppressive, and it can even get to the point where an entire ranked team’s composition just does not have the remote possibility of countering the oppressiveness of the weapon
let’s give all characters a smoke and 2 flashes?
— Liquid Mendo (@Mendo) March 25, 2021
The professional player and streamer explained that most teams have no source to block out the Operator in solo ranked queues, turning the game into a “weapon versus team” format. Whoever has the Operator wins the game by default because you can’t simply flash them out like in CSGO. Whereas, in team games, players can request smokes and flashes and easily contest the Operator. The streamer recommended that scaling the weapon with skills could resolve this issue.
On the topic of buff, G2 esports’ streamer Jakub “Lothar” Szygulski probed kennyS about areas where Sniper is lacking. The legendary AWPer recommended the same solution as Mendo and said that the movement could use some improvement. The Operator’s scope movement and equip timing was heavily nerfed in patch 1.09. The sluggish movement clashes with kennyS’ signature quick-scope AWP style.
The Sniper comes for a hefty price of 5000 Creds and can be the ultimate hero weapon for defenders. While Operator may not be much different from CSGO’s AWP, it’s the distinct aspects of both games that impact its efficacy. In CSGO, all players carry similar utility that allows them to contest the enemy’s guns. Agents in Valorant come short against powerful weapons if they don’t play as a team, which explains slower and balanced Sniper in the game.
It’s unlikely that this Twitter argument would get the developers’ attention as most Valorant players find the Operator perfectly balanced in the Valorant mechanics. However, the discussion does prove that CSGO and Valorant may not be so similar, after all.