Which game takes more skill, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Valorant?
According to popular streamer Michael “shroud” Grzesiek, the clear answer is CSGO. That isn’t all there is to the story though, as he gave his in-depth thoughts on what it takes to succeed in Valorant and where the game’s pro scene is likely headed.
The discussion started when a fan asked him about the roster of T1 during a stream on Mixer which was then reposted to YouTube.
“The thing is…the skill ceiling and the potential is a lot lower than a game like Counter-Strike, right? So Keven “AZK” Larivière, Braxton “Brax” Pierce, Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, right? Legends. Insane. But they’re capped…In Counter-Strike there’s a cap of course, but the cap is so high up there that sometimes you don’t even need a brain,” shroud said.
He goes on to detail that Valorant is tailored to be palatable to gamers that aren’t necessarily committed FPS players, with abilities serving as a crutch that allows lesser talents to stand against those with superior aim and technique. This comes at the expense of uniquely skilled players who might be able to find greater success through their individual playmaking abilities in a game like CSGO.
Fans of Valorant might claim shroud is coming at this from a biased position. Though shroud is currently one of the most popular streamers in the world, he first rose to prominence as a CSGO pro and a member of Cloud9’s popular roster.
It’s hard to disagree with his points, though. This same argument occurred in Overwatch, with shroud’s point largely being proven true as top hitscan players have periodically found themselves riding the bench simply because the meta has broken in favor of tanks and supports rather than the heroes that most require precise aim.
— Michael Grzesiek (@shroud) April 3, 2020
Though it might sound like shroud was bashing Valorant in the same way many casual CSGO players have, he has still been regularly playing and enjoying his time in Riot Games’ new tactical shooter. Even if it doesn’t have the same demands on players in terms of their ability to aim, that doesn’t mean it won’t require other skills.
“AZK, Brax, Skadoodle…they’re going to have to use their brain to figure out how to beat [opponents] because there’s a cap,” shroud said.
Short of the game devolving into rigid and static metas as has been the case at times in Overwatch, Valorant can still let players shine through tactical prowess instead of technical skills. While best practices in the game will still be discovered and evolve over time, the hope is that players will be afforded the room to find success through a variety of different avenues.