Marketing Strategy

How Riot’s marketing strategy is making the former a more successful Esports title in 2021

Valorant vs CS:GO has been a popular argument since Valorant’s release last year.

Valorant was released in June 2020. Riot’s new FPS game was a breath of fresh air for all the CS:GO players. The game’s unique combination of ability use and gunplay has blown the minds of many players. Many professional players decided to switch to Valorant to explore the new opportunities in this new game.

However, recent stats suggest that Valorant is slowly surpassing CS:GO’s popularity.


CS:GO averages only 550K players compared to Valorant’s 14 million monthly

CS:GO is one of the oldest and most popular FPS games. But in recent times, the title has seen some downgrades. CS:GO registered the second-highest decline in its average player base last month since April 2018.

On the other hand, Valorant is gaining immense popularity day by day. Last month, the developers confirmed that Valorant currently averages 14 million monthly players. The game saw its first international LAN event in Iceland last May and is preparing for another this September. Many former CS:GO players are switching to Valorant every day.

But what has made Valorant more popular than CS:GO in recent times? According to Esports commentator Anders Blume,

‘The most confusing thing for me about the Valorant vs. CS thing that’s happening is how almost everyone appears to have completely forgotten what market competition generally does.. Makes things better.. Nevermind that you can in fact be a fan of both games..’

He also added,

“I’m already seeing a few replies specifically saying that valve aren’t doing what riot are as a kind of evidence that they’re not interested in csgo or whatever, i agree these two companies have two different strategies, my point is they can’t have strategies that make them immune to the market, its just not possible.. If in the end what we learn is that Valorant’s model beats Counter-Strike’s, then likely cs2 or some future iteration will just borrow from that solution to came back stronger, stop the doomer shit.”

With new updates and routine changes to the game, Riot is diligently working to ensure Valorant remains fresh and entertaining. Starting with 11 agents in June 2020, the developers have already expanded the list to 16. From four maps, the playlist has expanded to six. If Riot can continue this level of progress then Valorant might overshadow the legacy of CS:GO sooner than later.


Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.