League of Legends is one of the most successful multiplayer, intensive gaming experiences to ever hit our screens. Produced by Riot Games, League of Legends has made billions – posting a revenue of $1.8 billion in 2018 alone. The game is funded through microtransactions and allows players to invest money into making their characters and experience better. The game encapsulates the very best of fantasy gaming and showed the power of multiplayer gaming long before it was properly harnessed on the scale it is known for today. So, with such big shoes to fill, the closed beta Valorant looks set to help carve Riot Games another slice of the gaming pie. What can we expect from Valorant – and will it be as meteoric as League of Legends?
What Do We Know About Valorant?
The closed beta launched on April 7, with the full game expected to launch in summer 2020. The game is a first-person shooter game, and according to Polygon’s Austen Goslin, “one of the most fun tactical shooters [he’s] ever played.” Gaming writers have praised the game for being refreshing and offering something new.
The game is a 5v5 team game and boasts some impressive features for gaming afficionados. It has 30 frames per second and has been optimized for min-spec computers, the site claiming that even those with decade-old machines can expect to experience the full impact of the game.
Creating the Perfect eSport
The goal of Valorant, according to Riot Games, is to build the game to become one of the most impressive eSports and one that players are loyal to for life. While this goal is clear for those playing it, there is also a strong narrative underlying the game. Players can find the agents’ abilities they enjoy, can find guns that work well for them, and can figure out the economy of the game and how best to utilize the features.
In this respect, there is quite a degree of strategy involved – enough to appease those who want a challenge. But the game is also designed for more casual players who want to enjoy the 5v5 gunfight and then move along.
decided to make a valorant tier list pic.twitter.com/m7iYEqFRWF— TenZ / Tyson (C9) (@TenZ_CS) April 26, 2020
Fan Reactions to Valorant
One of the biggest coups for League of Legends was how driven by fans it was. The pull-down approach allowed Riot Games to seamlessly create new skins and new ways of playing, while the fans did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to marketing. It seems that history is repeating as many eSports teams are already beefing up their Valorant teams.
Indeed, for those keeping atop of Valorant news, League of Legends legend Sinatraa has retired from the fantasy multiplayer game to don a rifle and join Valorant, becoming the first Overwatch League pro to do so.
While the beta has gained a lot of traction with fans – many comparing it not just to Legends, but to games like Valve’s Counter-Strike and Blizzard’s Overwatch – we can expect the official launch to change the direction of gaming. The trends over the past few years have been very changeable – with the Nintendo Switch dominating a lot of gaming conversation – but Valorant could usher in a new era of first-person shooter games. The game’s official release will tell us more, but those who have played it so far seem impressed enough for Riot Games to breathe a sigh of relief.