Now Valve has little choice. Riot Games is coming for its audience and using VALORANT to target a fanbase that has eluded Valve. It’s time for Valve to finally step up.
League of Legends and Dota 2 do co-exist in the esports space. But Valve is on the losing end of that equation.
Dota is No. 2 to League of Legends’ No. 1. Valve can’t afford to let VALORANT to catch up to Counter-Strike, but if Riot’s shown anything since League of Legends’ release in 2009, it’s that it has no issue lapping existing games in the same genre, like the original Dota and then Heroes of Newerth, in the same genre.
If Valve wants to keep on top, it’ll need to do what’s seemed impossible. More than 10 majors and eight years later, it’s time for it to give Counter-Strike esports a nice bump in a post-coronavirus world. Work to make a circuit — like it is with the newly-announced regional major rankings — but with the intent of it continuing full time, rather than just because a pandemic has shaken up the calendar. Put a few more million dollars in the prize pool. Take Counter-Strike to a new level.
Shox isn’t optimistic Valve will react, given how hands-off the developer has been in handling Counter-Strike esports, particularly since the release of Global Offensive in 2012. But he doesn’t believe VALORANT will hit Counter-Strike as much as others predict.
“As a CS pro, I would really love Valve to be more committed to the game and definitely do more updates,” shox said. “But I don’t think it’ll change anything with Valve, because I don’t see VALORANT as a competitor to CS because they’re two different games. VALORANT will have its own scene, with its own players, its own team, its own competition. I don’t see it as a competitor to CS.”
I won’t argue that VALORANT is a Counter-Strike killer. That’s a stupid argument and anyone making it is providing more hot take than fact. But it doesn’t mean VALORANT won’t impact Counter-Strike at all. The right mindset is in the middle. The ball’s in Valve’s court. Now it’s time for them to react.