Michael “shroud” Grzesiek has been quite vocal about his love for Valorant, but he doesn’t think Riot’s shooter can ever truly beat Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in popularity.
CSGO’s newest rival has split up the tactical shooter player base in half. While many CSGO professional and casual players have packed their bags for Valorant for a variety of reasons, shroud thinks that CSGO still has the edge when it comes to esports.
Valve’s shooter took many hits after Riot’s first FPS title Valorant was released. However, the PGL Stockholm Major brought CSGO back into the spotlight with soaring viewership numbers for the final between Natus Vincere and G2 Esports. The game between Na`Vi and G2 Esports garnered a peak of 2.7 million concurrent viewers, seemingly giving a definite answer in the “is CSGO dying?” debate. Many loyal followers bashed the likes of shroud, who has been doom and gloom about CSGO’s future on several occasions.
According to shroud, CSGO will remain popular far into the future and is far from dying off.
In a recent stream, shroud backed his original game. The Twitch streamer said that while Valorant is easy to play, CSGO remains a more fun esport to watch due to its simplicity.
“Valorant needs a little bit deeper understanding. That’s the tricky part about it. Like, CS you watch, you understand smoke, molly, or grenade. It’s simple, right? [In Valorant] There is just like an extra layer of complexity.” Shroud said.
The retired CS pro previously explained how Valorant is easy as compared to CSGO. He said that Valorant allows each player to focus on their roles, making it easier to understand. Conversely, CS requires skills in all facets of the game from each team member.
That might make for a better casual experience, but a worse esports viewership experience. CSGO is comparatively simpler to watch, as those who don’t play it can easily understand what’s happening on their screens.
“Meanwhile, I’ve had my grandma watch Counter-Strike and understand it. It’s super simple to understand from a watching perspective for the first time.” He said.
The abilities, agent comps, and other intricacies make Valorant harder to follow for those who don’t play the game. This is one of the many reasons why CSGO boasts a high number of viewers despite having a popular modern competitor in the community.
Time will ultimately tell whether Valorant can eclipse CSGO’s esports popularity. Valorant’s biggest tournament yet is coming in December. VCT Champions will be Riot’s first major-like event for its shooter game, so it’s still too early to establish that Valorant doesn’t attract as many viewers.