Esports in India saw a boost in recent years with PUBG becoming a mainstream title known to people of all age groups. This saw a surge in lockdown with many people now investing their time in major esports titles such as CSGO, DoTA 2, PUBG and more. However there is a new competitor who might push India’s esports PC gaming to the top.
Valorant is the brainchild of Riot Games who are the developers of popular MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game League of Legends. League of Legends is one of the most popular esports title out there and have also broken records like their World Finals in 2018 that garnered over 99.6 million live viewers, a record that hasn’t even been broken by most sports yet. This was a major landmark in esports history, and Riot is looking to make another.
Valorant is a first person tactical shooter that follows a team structure similar to League, 5 players on each team, each with their own unique abilities. While this may not be unheard of previously (hint: Overwatch), it certainly does bring a lot of upcoming esports players and casual players together which, thanks to its low system requirements, makes it possible for many players across the world to play this game. Many popular streamers like Ninja have made the transition to Valorant, bringing their fan base to the game however Indian streamers are sticking to their guns be it COD Mobile, PUBG or others. Some Indian YouTube streamers have taken to Valorant as well seeing more opportunity. Despite Valorant’s worldwide release having happened on 2nd June, it has already seen a major tournament in India.
Valorant features a myriad of abilities for every hero that can make or break a team’s outcome. Compared to shooters like CSGO which are point blank shooting or sniping through collapsible objects, it allows the player to make use of their abilities to have multiple outcomes in a single situation. Combining that with teamwork, leads to a whole different experience that is unknown to the major esports titles in India which usually rely on tactical gun gameplay. Though some may argue that Jett and Genji are both masters at wielding blades, the former allows access to players who don’t have to spend money and can game at a relatively lower system configuration. With Indian esports market booming during pandemic, Valorant will see an influx in players from South East Asia and is already in talks for developing a server just for India.
In India, PC gaming and esports have received relatively lower traction despite titles like PUBG, DoTA 2 and CSGO being prevalent. Valorant has marketed itself as the perfect title which combines elements from tactical shooters and MOBA games and brings out a perfect blend of teamwork that will bring a unique experience to the player. Removing a price tag and allowing it to run on most computers today equals to more players participating in the game. Riot games could have possibly changed the scene of Indian esports by taking these factors into account and may see a huge surge in Indian PC gaming and esports, which was initially restricted to streamers and those who could afford building a high quality PC but now will be accessible to all.