Shroud Thinks Valorant Could Rival League of Legends Popularity
For months, the question on everyone’s mind has been “Will Valorant have an esports scene?” Now that the Valorant First Strike series has kicked off, that answer is now a “Yes”. But what about the longevity of Valorant? Can it stack up against titans like CoD and more importantly, CSGO? It shares a lot with the classic hardcore FPS, after all. A viewer of Michael “shroud” Grezesiek’s stream asked this very same question, CSGO vs. Valorant. Shroud thinks that it’s possible for Valorant to rival the popularity of League of Legends, but CSGO is another matter.
That’s not a small task either, as League of Legends is one of the biggest esports in the world. Valorant’s not going to compete with CSGO’s viewership because it’s far more complicated, which Shroud goes into. It’s not hard to see why he thinks that way either. That’s good though! We don’t really want to steal from one audience for the other. We want to see Valorant have its own rabid following, just like CSGO, League of Legends, or Overwatch.
What’s interesting is that back in October, Shroud thought Valorant would become the number one shooter.
More Complex Than CSGO
The question broached was “Do you think Valorant has the potential to reach CS level viewership”? This one looked like it took Shroud a few moments to really get his thoughts together on. He points out that CSGO is incredibly easy to watch. There aren’t any flashy, weird moves to follow. The discussion is found in this video.
“Your grandma could watch it and be like, oh this person shoots that person, oh that’s a grenade, oh that’s a smoke grenade, that’s a flashbang.”
As an aside, my grandmother could watch for that very reason. She’s seen enough military movies to know the score. But Valorant, while it’s still a shooter with a lot in common, there’s so much more going on. Shroud went on to say:
“In Valorant, it’s still the same thing. But what’s confusing about it is everyone looks the same and everyone’s casting abilities, which are flashbangs and smoke grenades, but when you put it in that format, it’s very confusing.”
We can see the argument, for sure. Personally, this writer finds Valorant easier to follow because of the visual aesthetic, and a fondness for Hero Shooters. But the argument Shroud makes sense. However, Shroud then pivots to talk about Valorant and League of Legends.
League of Legends is wildly popular, so it doesn’t matter if just anyone can follow the action. The key is to just make a great video game, and it will bring the fans. Valorant has tons of players, just like League of Legends, and Shroud thinks that’s the key. By focusing on the players rather than the casual viewing audience, you’ll draw more people in.
Sure, the casual viewing audience is massive, but in order to cater to that group of people, you’d have to dial back on what makes Valorant such a fun game to watch. Instead, keep making the game great, make updates and balance changes that make sense, and just build on your players. The players will stop to tune in, and you’ll get the League of Legends style numbers you’re after. At least, Shroud thinks so. Who are we to disagree?