International League of Legends powerhouse T1 has signed Braxton “swag” Pierce as the first member of its new Valorant roster.
In a tweet from both swag and the official Twitter account of T1, the organization announced that it has signed the famous Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player to its entry team in Valorant. The game is Riot Game’s first title in the first-person shooting space, and the initial reviews have been positive.
swag announced that he would no longer compete in CSGO earlier this week, citing his inability to compete at the esport’s highest levels due to an ongoing ban from the game’s developer, Valve. The ban stems from a 2016 match-fixing incident when swag was still technically a teenager. Others involved in the incident have repeatedly called for Valve to lift the indefinite ban on swag, but those requests have fallen on deaf ears.
Brax can only compete in third-party tournaments that aren’t directly associated with Valve. Unfortunately, Valve’s rules extend to Major tournaments, the ultimate goal of any CSGO team, making swag an unattractive option for most squads despite his talent.
Those who have seen Riots’ new FPS, like CSGO caster Henry “HenryG” Greer, describe Valorant as mashup of Counter-Strike and Overwatch, with characters abilities having a monetary cost and are bought at the beginning of the round.
“The game mode we had access to was MR12, [Search and Destroy] with an A & B bombsite with an attack/defence swap at half time. In my opinion, these aforementioned classes and their own unique ‘abilities’ should be seen as tactical utility instead of potentially overpowered spell/ultimate combinations that other class-based games suffer from,” HenryG said.
Similar to Rainbow Six: Siege, a headshot regardless of weapon will be an instant kill while the rest of the game’s gunplay will have a low time to kill.
Popular streamer and ex-Overwatch pro Félix “xQc” Lengyel recently gave his own opinion on Counter-Strike players making the switch.
“Hot take: All the washed-up CSGO “pros” will try to go pro in Valorant like they did in Overwatch then complain about rez, shields, and that the game revolves around more than simply shooting a gun and then ultimately quit,” xQc said.
For reference, xQc is currently ranked Gold Nova 1 in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Valorant executive producer Anna Donlon shared that Riot’s first FPS says that she believes the new IP will bring something new to the shooter genre by combining the abilities found in Overwatch with the strategy of Counter-Strike.
“By adding unique character abilities that complement the game’s gunplay we believe we’re expanding upon the traditional tac shooter experience and bringing something new to the genre – and we hope the launch of Valorant will be the start of a long-term relationship with tactical FPS fans from around the world,” Donlon said.