It has been a month to the day since the newest title in esports, Valorant, was released by popular studio Riot Games, it had been met with some early criticisms and poor reviews upon release but has since stabilized as is developing quite a scene. We’ve already seen a number of online events take place as T1 and Nerd Street Gamers have teamed up to deliver some exciting brackets for the teams that have already emerged – the most recent came this past week as the final saw favourites T1 against TSM in a one sided affair that left pundits using a growing number of no kyc casinos and betting sites during this lockdown period in a little shock – but how is the overall scene shaping up?
Changes are coming, but perhaps need to be faster – One of the bigger criticisms so far is that there isn’t much diversity in the game, there are currently only four playable maps which has left many feeling the game is already stale. Fortunately balance changes are coming through quickly, and there is plenty getting fixed very quickly, but many are also hoping that further changes come through quickly in order to help grow that much faster.
Some meta issues – Other concerns have been brought up around some concerns with how the current meta is developing – the economy within the game still plays out a little strangely and can force buys at less than ideal times, and with some of the more popular agents having expensive skill sets there are also times in which the economy as a whole seems a little confusing. This will of course change in time but does have some early teething issues.
A shallow pool – This is less an issue with the game itself and more a natural progression of the scene that it is, but there have been some criticisms that the pool of talent isn’t as organic as some would like. The ‘pro’ scene is more or less only made up of former Counter-Strike pros, which isn’t surprising given Valorant is aiming to capture more of the competitive shooter market again, but it also means less fresh face – over time new players will emerge, but having much of the old guard remain at the top of the scene as it develops means it will stay stagnant for a little while.
The game is still very young, however, and as a starting point despite some teething issues things are looking pretty great – viewership is staying quite strong as many of the bigger names are holding thousands of viewers per stream and the two events that have taken place so far have also captured a wider audience. The next steps for the publisher may be to introduce the infrastructure for the esport scene to flourish through a spectator mode and other broadcasting options, but Riot have a pretty strong track record through League of Legends so it’s expected those changes will come sooner rather than later – in short, a great start but with lots of opportunity for change.
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