Valorant is the upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game that is developed by Riot Games. Riot is best known as the studio behind League of Legends, a popular MOBA that was inspired by the Warcraft series, particularly Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. We expect that to change with the arrival of Valorant, as the game is rapidly gaining popularity among fans of the MOBA genre despite its current beta status.
What is Valorant’s recipe for success? Who is the target audience? How to get a beta key? And ultimately, are you even going to enjoy Valorant? Let’s take a closer look at what’s currently happening around the game to figure out the answers to these questions!
The Idea behind the New Valorant Game
Valorant revolves around a concept that is pretty simple and instantly familiar if you’ve played at least several matches in Counter-Strike. The game is currently only available in the beta version, which offers a single playing mode. In 5v5, two teams of 5 players each are pitted against each other in an attempt to prevent the enemy team from completing their mission. The Attackers carry a powerful bomb that they have to plant in certain places on the map to blow up the whole place, while defenders try to prevent that from happening by killing off all attackers before they can succeed. If attackers do manage to plant a bomb before all of them are killed, defenders have to defuse it to win.
Winning a single round doesn’t mean you can celebrate victory, though. You are going to keep playing against the same team until one of the teams wins a total of 13 matches. Given that Valorant is pretty tactical and can be slow-paced at times, you can expect to spend at least 30 minutes playing a set of rounds against the same team before the outcome of the match becomes clear. If you are lucky enough to play against a team that matches your abilities, you are guaranteed to have a good time regardless of whether you end up being part of the winning team or not.
Valorant Is Unique and Worth Your Time
At first glance, you may assume that Valorant is similar to the extremely popular battle royale games like Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Apex Legends, or everyone’s favorite representative of the genre, Fortnite. However, Valorant eliminates the “random” factor that seems to be responsible for so many victories in battle royale games, making players rely on their own skills and teamwork to win. This instantly makes Valorant a much better fit for the esports community, as it provides a “fair” environment for teams to compete in while boasting some fresh gameplay aspects that make it differ from CSGO and other popular MOBA games.
Simple as the game’s whole concept may seem, mastering Valorant and actually winning is no easy task. First of all, unlike CSGO, Valorant has characters with various skills and abilities, which instantly makes the gameplay more challenging. Valorant is kind of like CSGO meeting Overwatch, borrowing the best gameplay elements from both games and fusing them into something unique. This doesn’t mean that Valorant offers a completely new playing experience, and it is certainly not going to take the gaming world by storm the way PUBG did back in 2017. Still, playing it does feel refreshing, and Valorant definitely has a target audience that is going to appreciate the game’s unique take on the MOBA genre.
Valorant Twitch Following Reflects a Clever Marketing Technique
Apart from being inherently well-suited for esports and competitive players, Valorant has also managed to quickly amass quite a following by being marketed through leading Twitch streamers. At the time of writing, the Valorant beta version can only be accessed if you have a key, and keys are only available through Twitch. To have a chance of getting a key, you have to link your Twitch account to the official Riot Games account. Once you’re done with that, you need to spend at least 2 hours watching someone stream their Valorant matches. At this point, it doesn’t even have to be a prominent streamer, as Riot Games has confirmed all Valorant streamers are now dropping beta keys.
The restricted access made players even more eager to get their hands on a beta access key and led to Valorant streams on Twitch being viewed by over 10 million people in the first week following the public beta launch. With most Valorant streams being viewed by thousands of people simultaneously, getting the key can be a matter of many hours and, sometimes, even days. This keeps people interested in the game while effectively forcing them to watch streams advertising Valorant. Well done, Riot Games.
Valorant Drawbacks and Shortcomings
First of all, the characters in Valorant lack definition and are ultimately pretty generic. Both their stories and in-game renders are quite basic and were clearly designed with much less attention to details as compared to Apex Legends or even Overwatch. That being said, the characters in Valorant are still more compelling than those in CSGO, but the latter game didn’t set the bar very high anyway.
Secondly, as a natural follow-up to the rather bland character designs, their abilities are also not very exciting and in some cases, negligible. An experienced player with good aiming skills may not even have to rely on the unique abilities to win. This shifts the focus from learning all about your character’s ability to merely mastering the shooting aspect of the game and being a good team player.
Finally, judging by the 5v5 mode, Valorant is unlikely to be welcoming towards inexperienced players. It does require some serious skills to be a threat to the enemy team, so newbies are probably going to be discouraged early on and leave the game before they can get any better at it.
What Do You Think About the Valorant Beta Version?
Despite the shortcomings listed above, Valorant is a good game with considerable potential. Have you already been able to get a key and play a couple of matches? If so, be sure to share your experience with other readers in the comments section below.