The Great Migration: Counter Strike and Valorant

June 20, 2020
Article written by: John "JAYEL

Valorant has been making gaming news all over the world. Anyone who plays first person shooters on the PC (or has heard of Riot Games) knows about its presence. It especially holds the interest of Counter Strike players. Discord servers far and wide had people talking about getting beta keys for the game, jumping into Valorant queues instead of ESEA and FaceIT, and imagining what it would be like to play Valorant competitively--instead of CS:GO. Valorant is growing by the day, there is no questioning this. However, this big shift in focus from Counter Strike to Valorant provides a great opportunity for players who look to make a name for themselves in the CS:GO scene. As with all changes in life and the world, there come new opportunities.

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An overwhelming majority of Counter Strike professionals have tried playing Valorant. Many professionals even play Valorant frequently, participating in the myriad weekly tournaments and grinding the latest ranking system. Some tier one and tier two Counter Strike professionals have already even made the announcement that they are quitting the CS scene and focusing fully on Valorant. 

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Some pretty big names have left Counter Strike to pursue the new Valorant dream. SicK announced his retirement from Counter Strike a few weeks ago--only a month after joining Chaos Esports Club. At 18 years young, TenZ, a future star in the making, decided to pivot away from Counter Strike and become one of the top professionals in Valorant. Swag (now known as brax) became the first Valorant and FPS player under contract for the famed T1 organization shortly after he announced his departure from Counter Strike. Recently, food and fREAKAZOID have also announced their leaving of Counter Strike, which pretty much folds the Swole Patrol team. There are many reasons that these players, and the ones who will follow in the future, are leaving the game. I think flashstep said it best, in a tweet thread that he sent out on May 10th.

To summarize, he explains that the Counter Strike grind is real. The players who have announced their departure have had success, but not quite the success of standing on stage with a trophy. Thousands of hours of gameplay and grinding to be the best only meets its expectations if you become the best. That is what these players are striving for, and there is hope in the new Valorant game for them. 

While Valorant brings new hope to departing CS players, it also brings new aspiration and drive to CS players who have been working and waiting for their chance. Roster spots are starting to open, organizations are beginning to look at new teams, and the top tier of NA CS seems a little more open nowadays. There are spots open for the taking. Counter Strike is looking for new names, new personalities, and new passion to welcome itself to the stage.   

This is the time for young guns to take up arms and keep grinding. Make some noise in tournaments and leagues. Make some upsets. While people’s focus turns to new games, turns to work, turns away from CS… this is the chance to make a name for yourself and your team to reach new heights. The game has been filled with the same pros for a long time. There are new faces coming into the scene at a consistent pace, but this is an opportunity that comes only once every few years. 

The community is yearning for new. So much so that people are willing to leave the game to experience it. Now is the time to stand-out and reach the next level. Good luck and best wishes to everyone who is looking to be that person or team. We’re rooting for you here at Counter Nature, and we’ll be sure to give you the attention that is deserved if you start making progress on that path.

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