Valorant is without a doubt a great game. Developed by Riot Games and launched in June 2020, this first-person shooter has turned into a successful esport with a player base of somewhere around 15 million. But that’s not the only metric we need to look at when comparing Valorant to CS:GO.
Key Differences Between Valorant and CS:GO
CS:GO is a pure FPS game, developed more than two decades ago, when nobody could imagine a video game in which RPG elements were mixed with FPS elements. So characters are indistinguishable from each other and everyone has access to the same resources, with minor exceptions. For example, only the Terrorists can buy the AK-47 and only the Counter-Terrorists can buy the M4A4. But apart from this, the game is not character-based at all. It’s purely action-based. Contrast that to Valorant, where each character is unique and functions like a MOBA champion or hero.
Valorant and CS:GO can be compared using a variety of metrics. The most important ones are the following:
Prestige and Longevity
Most video games come and go. They’re popular for a month or two or even a few years. But eventually, they lose most of their player base and become forgotten. But some of them become part of the culture and prove their value over a long period of time. Right now, we don’t know if Valorant has what it takes to still be around in 5 – 10 years. The odds of it being successful in the long run are quite high, but that has a lot to do with the fact that its player base has a lot of confidence in Riot Games and its ability to keep it alive.
In CS:GO’s case, the game has already demonstrated its appeal for over one decade. And the Counter-Strike series itself is more than two decades old. Needless to say, if we take into account everyone who has ever played Counter-Strike, the number easily surpasses that of Valorant’s. So in the prestige department, CS:GO wins, at least for now.
Another thing to consider here is the great tournaments that the two games have had until now. Despite being released less than 2 years ago, Valorant has already developed a decent professional circuit. Some tournaments, such as VTC and VALORANT Champions, feature large prize pools in addition to numerous Valorant betting opportunities.
In CS:GO, the professional esports scene is very well developed. The tournament organizers in this game have been around for many years and can easily expand their operations. So every year, around a dozen big events take place in addition to dozens of smaller tournaments. The viewership for these tournaments ranges from hundreds of thousands to millions. For example, VALORANT Champions 2021 had 469,000 average viewers and almost 1.1 million peak viewers. Meanwhile, the PGL Major that took place in November, 2021 had 593,000 average viewers and 2.75 million peak viewers.
Right now, CS:GO is far more developed than Valorant. But the situation could easily change in the next few years. After all, Riot Games is known to invest heavily in its games with the intent of turning them into highly successful esports that dominate their niche. We’ve seen what the company was able to do with League of Legends, which is now played by more than 100 million people and features more than 10 important professional leagues around the globe.
If Valorant can get to a player base of around 25 million and an esports audience of at least 2 million, it’s likely that Riot will reuse its success formula and turn this FPS into an esport that will surpass CS:GO until the end of this decade.
Despite being the much younger sibling, Valorant has already surpassed CS:GO in the player base department, by around 50%. CS:GO is regularly played by 10 million people while Valorant is played by 15 million. However, in CS:GO’s case, the number seems to be going down at the moment, while Valorant’s is going up.
The big advantage of Valorant is that it gets a lot of attention simply because it was developed by Riot. It’s really hard to be a gamer and not know about this esport. To some degree, the same could be said about CS:GO. But in Valorant’s case, the effect is likely to last for much longer.