During the May 21 Summer Games Fest stream, Riot revealed June 2 as Valorant‘s release date. This is nearly two months ahead of the original Valorant release date Riot had previously hinted at. Valorant has been a dominant force in the FPS realm for the past 3 months. While the game has been in closed beta with fairly open access, on June 2, the floodgates will open to the public.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) May 21, 2020
If you are just tuning in, Valorant is Riot’s new FPS hero shooter title which borrows elements from CS:GO, Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch. Professionals from various esports have already left their titles to hop onto the hype train. Tournaments at all skill levels are taking place nearly every weekend, continuously growing the game’s audience.
Some have predicted that Valorant will be the killer of games like CS:GO, Overwatch and even Fortnite, but it is more likely that Riot’s shooter finds its own comfortable place in the ecosystem.
Plans for the future
The expectations that Valorant will wipe many existing games from the market is far-fetched. Realistically, titles like DOTA, League of Legends, and CS:GO took years to build a dedicated esports following. So far, Riot has simply put Valorant on the right track to be successful, and this rapid move to put the game in the hands of rabid fans is the smart move.
The opening weeks of the closed beta put Valorant at the top of the Twitch charts. For a month, Valorant had double the viewers of every other category on Twitch at any given time. This was in part due to Twitch and Riot’s partnership to offer beta access as stream drops, but the core mechanics of the game kept many players coming back. The game’s qualities are undeniable.
What's more OP, Cypher or his cameras? 🙃
— ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) April 14, 2020
Valorant has solid gameplay, which has gone through numerous iterations since the closed beta went live. The various improvements have so far only made the game better, while leaving behind fond memories of Cypher’s camera mowing down entire teams. The gameplay is fun, but it is still solidifying into a concrete shape.
Naturally, the game is far from perfect, with Riot still fighting an uphill battle against the player base’s emerging toxicity (my advice: toxicity can often be overcome with a quick mute or overbearing positivity). And even it Valorant was somehow magically free from toxic players, and had air-tight gameplay and mechanics already, it would still lack many of the things which players gravitate towards in other shooter titles. So it’s entirely too early to fret over Valorant killing anything.
Speaking to ESPN, Riot stated that the player base has been relatively large during the closed beta, and on June 2, even more fresh agents will join the fray. The Valorant release date is only weeks away, and then the true test of the game will begin.