Valorant: the new game from the creators of "League of Legends"

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This is arguably the most ambitious project by Riot Games publisher since the release of "League of Legends" in 2009. But can the new game from the king of e-sport outperform its models?

Playable by some testers since April 7, but available to everyone since June 2, the Valorant video game is preceded by a flattering reputation, large audiences but also a great mission: to establish itself as the benchmark of the competitive shooter, such as The Previous game from its developer, League of Legends, has established itself as the king of strategy games. For that, you will have to beat your models, Counter-Strike and Overwatch.

What is it about ?

Valorant is a team shooting video game, available free for PC (Windows). He offered to buy cosmetic upgrades to be able to change the colors of his particular weapons. The principle strongly recalls that of Counter-Strike, the undisputed star of the multiplayer shooter for twenty years, competed only in recent years for Overwatch or Fortnite.

In what is, at the moment, Valorant's only game mode (two actually, including the "Spike Rush" variant), two teams of five players oppose each other: one must start and then protect a bomb, the other person responsible for deactivating it. The first team to win thirteen rounds won. Each victory allows you to accumulate a little money, which you can then spend to buy new weapons, protections or recharges for your special abilities.

Because this is the big difference between Valorant and his ancestor Counter-Strike: As Overwatch, he offers to choose his avatar from a gallery of characters with different and complementary abilities. Some may treat their companions, create clouds of smoke to protect them, or uncheck the "radar" arrows that allow enemies to be seen through the walls. But the game also offers more autonomous characters, called "duellists," for players who prefer to act alone on their side rather than in a team, such as the aerobatic Jett, capable of jumping, floating, or throwing daggers, but unable to assist Teammates.

Basically Valorant is still a faster game than Overwatch, less frenetic, almost slow. It is also a game with less aerial, less vertical movements, where caution is recommended: the exchanges of fire are often much shorter and faster, to the point that the slightest mistake is punished quickly.

Will the enthusiasm last?

In a phase called "closed beta" in April and May, selected players had access to a non-final version of the game, but they have already broken records on Twitch's live video streaming platform.

According to the game's publisher, over 3 million players are logged into Valorant daily, while "over 470 million hours of Valorant views on Twitch" surpassed "1.7 million viewers simultaneously." However, the figures must be contextualized: during these first two months, access to the game was really limited and reserved for viewers who saw other people play for a certain number of hours.

Will the enthusiasm around Valorant last or will it end without strength? Two days after launch, the Riot Games game still appears among the most viewed titles on Twitch, with 90,000 simultaneous viewers. But he's ironed out behind other competing shooters, like the invincible Fortnite (200,000 viewers), the ever-popular Counter-Strike (140,000 viewers) or the latest Call of Duty (130,000 viewers). However, it is still listed before Apex Legends (65,000 viewers, Thursday afternoon June 4), which had also benefited, after its launch, from incredible popularity, before gradually returning to the ranks.

But even if the game is officially available, it's probably just the first stage of the Valorant rocket. Rather than a simple game, it was designed by its developer as an electronic sport. If success is there, it is asked to complete the stages one day.

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