MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 02: A general view of the CS:GO stage inside of Margaret Court Arena during the Melbourne esports Open at Melbourne Park on September 2, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

I decided to write this while still coming down off the high of winning my most recent match of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It also happened to be my 10th competitive win, granting me my competitive ranking. Counter-Strike is a game that has been around since the late 90’s, so I’m incredibly late to the party. I have to say though, I’m so glad I found it. There may be no better time to play CS:GO, because Valorant is making it better.

Never Too Late

It’s May 2020, and the world is still wrought with COVID-19. In the gaming world, Valorant’s beta is going strong and most people are playing that. And as much as I like Valorant, playing it makes me want to spend more time in Counter-Strike. That isn’t to say that Valorant is better or worse. Just that playing that style of game makes me also want to play CS:GO.

With today’s victory, I’m officially a Silver 3 scrub. In all truth, I’m probably more of a Silver 2 player, but the CS:GO gods were kind to me. I started playing in the months leading up to Valorant’s launch and found I really liked it. True, many of the people I played against were seasoned experts and the learning curve was steep. But Counter-Strike offers an incredible amount of satisfaction when you play well, a feeling I quickly became addicted to.

Valorant Arrives and CS:GO Benefits

When Valorant came out, I switched my focus over like so many others. My job dictated I do explore Riot’s new title and I’m glad I did. The game is fun! It has flaws, although I contend many of them will be figured out in beta. Recently, I was trying to stream Valorant, but it was down for extended maintenance. Still wanting to scratch the itch, I fired up Counter-Strike. What I found was a game much improved.

So how does Valorant make CS:GO better? Simple. The same way Overwatch’s arrival made League of Legends better. A massive amount of the community, the fringe community, shifted over to the new game. What was left were the players who genuinely liked the game and wanted to compete. I’ve played an assortment of games on CS:GO since coming back and have yet to see a hacker. No aim bots. No extreme toxicity. Not even as many smurfs. Instead, I’m getting competitive games with people of similar skill level.

The Cycle Continues

This is nothing new. As I said, Overwatch made League of Legends better. Fortnite made PUBG better. Eventually a new game will come along that will make Valorant better. The problem with being the trendy game, is you get the trendy bandwagoners. That’s not to say I don’t welcome all who want to play. But let’s just say that the ones who use hacks or aim-bots aren’t typically the ones who passionately love the game.

As Valorant moves out of beta and towards full release, I hope that it can have the same successful life-span that Counter-Strike has. I hope a young esports writer will pick up Valorant Source 3.52 in 2040 and be as impressed as I have been with CS:GO. And if you’re out there waiting to get into the Valorant beta, maybe pick up CS:GO. It’s free, the experience is solid, and it plays a lot like the game you’re waiting for.

What’s New At CheckpointXP?

It’s our turn in the gaming community to show our support for the heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and Make It Blue. This will take many forms, and your creativity is encouraged! We all have something special we offer to the gaming community. Whether it be a live stream, fan art, music, memes, singing, cosplay, or even competitive esports, you have something to offer. And we’re asking you to make that special something blue! Use #MakeItBlue as you show off the special twist on your talents!

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Lead Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images