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VALORANT versus CS:GO – What each game does better

Ever since VALORANT was announced by Riot Games, a lot of CS:GO pros have made the switch to the new FPS on the block. 

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The allure of revitalizing their careers combined with the promise of huge prize pools made their choice easy. But is VALORANT on track to be the CSGO killer, as touted by the community? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the differences between CSGO and VALORANT, and which game we feel does the best job.

Communication

One of the first things that immediately stands out is the difference in communication between Valve and Riot Games. While Valve shrouds itself in mystery and silence on Twitter, the developers of Riot Games have gone the opposite route. Game Director Joe Ziegler and Anna Donlon have been very vocal on Twitter. Not only when things go according to plan, but especially when they don’t, like when they had to roll back a patch. A clear win for VALORANT.

Updating The Game

VALORANT has an update scheduled every two weeks to patch smaller issues, with a big update at the start of every Episode. Each episode consists of three Acts (ranked seasons). They’ve held on to this schedule ever since they launched VALORANT 1.0 on June 2nd of last year. CSGO updates are way smaller and also less frequent. It’s worth noting that there are more things to patch in VALORANT due to the young age of the game. Nevertheless, I’m giving this one to VALORANT, taking a 2-0 lead.

Community Content

Not everyone plays FPS titles to prove they’re the best at the game. Surfing, retake servers, kz maps, community maps,… It’s just a small part of what makes CSGO so popular with the casual community. The ability to create your own maps and create your own mods makes sure everyone has something they enjoy doing. VALORANT on the other hand has already said they won’t have support for custom-made maps for several years.There’s only a handful of game types available for VALORANT at this time. That can make it hard for someone to casually enjoy the game. CSGO takes a point here, 2-1, still VALORANT is leading.

Esports

CSGO has had 20 years to develop as an esport. The game went through different iterations, dividing the community for a couple of years. That definitely didn’t help with the growth of the game. Whether you’re a team trying to get your break or a solo player trying to climb the ranks, there are plenty of opportunities to showcase your skills. The ESEA seasons and FPL divisions are plenty.

VALORANT only has a rudimentary Faceit implementation and nothing like the ESEA competition. The different rulesets between regions in the biggest VALORANT event to date, First Strike, was met with a lot of community backlash. VALORANT has a lot more small cups, which does make it a little more interesting for newer teams to pick and choose. Downside is that the disparity in skill level between the teams can be really big, whereas the prominent CSGO leagues are better at putting similar skilled teams together. All in all, CSGO takes this one, evening the series 2-2.

Skins

I’ll start with the good news, both games have weapon skins! That being said, both games have a very different approach as to how a player can acquire said skins. CSGO skins are freely available on the Steam Marketplace, basically leaving it to the community how much a skin is worth. Prices vary from $1 all the way up to $100,000 according to some rumours.

VALORANT skins are only unlocked by buying them directly from the VALORANT store. Prices are set, and non-negotiable. Riot Games has been met with a lot of negativity regarding their price point of skins, with the Elderflame set (of five guns) costing players $100. Premium content art lead Sean Marino that the art his team is creating shouldn’t be considered cheap, and the prices put weight to that statement.

Another big difference between the two FPS titles is the availability of the skins. In the open marketplace of CSGO, all skins are for sale, whereas the VALORANT skins rotate in and out, creating a sense of urgency when they do become available. Deciding the game that does it better depends on what you prefer, but for me personally, I prefer the availability of the CSGO skins over the forced scarcity of the VALORANT skins. 

In the end, comparisons between these two titles will probably never end. Despite their differences, they’re too similar not to compare. Both are backed by two big developers and both have a loyal player base in the millions to support their competitive scene. Despite VALORANT being around for over six months now, the average CSGO player base has been growing for the past four months

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Image credit: Valve & Riot Games