Both Adam Eccles and Kevin Lindström moved from their games to VALORANT recently.
VALORANT is hot, and other games are feeling the heat. As pro players seem to leave their professional esports career in that title behind, the trajectory is clear – they go to VALORANT. There is an argument to be made that this is just because VALORANT is new and fresh, and other games are beginning to seem old and stale, but the switch seems to run deeper than just that.
Problems in the competitive model of the game they left behind were a large reason for some players seemingly untimely departures.
ec1s is one of these players. Formerly a CS:GO pro competitor, Adam Eccles most notable stint was with Fnatic academy in 2018, after being signed following the teams win in GAMERZ Season 2. Ec1s started a new British org-less VALORANT roster (Fish123) in April 2020, bringing along OG ex-player, coach, and most recently CS:GO observer, Sliggy.
GGRecon spoke to Adam regarding this change and explored just what lead him to leave Counter-Strike for the Riot Games title.
GGRecon: Let’s start with the main question: why the switch to VALORANT?
The main reason for the switch to VALORANT was that we were burned out from CS it started to feel like a chore and we no longer enjoyed the game, me and ardis left our best ever team in CS to take a chance on VALORANT because the hunger wasn’t there for CS anymore, as well as in CS we believed it was extremely hard to “make it” due to everyone being established already but in VALORANT it was a fresh start and new opportunities, as well as being a lot more fun than CS!
GGRecon: In terms of your CS:GO career, was a lack of opportunities also a reason for the switch?
I feel like a lack of opportunities could have been a factor, if I was at a higher level in CS it would have been harder to make the switch, or if I was on a team that I could believe in I would have stayed in CS but I think I plateaued in that game, playing in ESEA advanced since its creation and being one or two games away from MDL every time was very demoralising.
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GGRecon: What do you think of VALORANT as a game? Do you see many similarities between it and CS:GO?
I think VALORANT is similar to CS in its gunplay, that’s why CS players have a major advantage over everyone coming from other games. I think the game is fun, at the beta release I was streaming 12 hours a day and I hadn’t done that in CS:GO for years, but I’d say VALORANT encourages a lot more teamwork. In CS you have 5 players that can amount to 10 flashbangs and 5 smokes etc, meaning everyone has them so they can make their own plays with their utility because they have everything they could need, but in VALORANT you probably have 2 flashes per round max if your composition has Breach or Phoenix, so these flashes need to be used wisely and coordinated to make the most out of what little you have.
GGRecon: What are your ambitions for your VALORANT pro player career?
My ambitions for my VALORANT career is to be a high tier pro, that’s the dream really, to be able to go to events all around the world and visit places that I would have never seen without gaming is an amazing thing, but we need to realise it is very early days and can’t get carried away too much, we still need to work even harder to do everything we can to keep this form up for a long time!
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GGRecon: How do you feel British VALORANT talent holds up against the rest of Europe?
I mean look at us for example, if we were playing Scream, Mixwell, Draken and pyth in CS not many people would give us a chance, but it just shows in CS that everyone is so highly individually skilled, players like soulcas and L1NK have incredible raw aim that is up there with the top pro players in CS, but it shows that games are won on experienced decision-making most of the time (aspects of our game we lacked in CS). We aren’t awful players, we have the talent, we just lacked the hard work and consistency which is something that Endpoint are showing with their roster at the moment and are very close to making the Top 30! But back to VALORANT - we are probably the team that has practised the most besides from NiP, but our mindset is great, we are always open to changing stuff around and learning as we go because the game is brand new and we need to experiment. I’m not sure on how other UK Players are doing, I know there was a team involving Boaster, kray etc but not sure how they are doing as well as Royals are doing extremely well, they placed top 4 in the fnatic cup and won an event the other day, so the UK is not going to be laughed at in this game for sure.
GGRecon: Do you think there’ll ever be a time that you want to return to CS:GO in the current climate?
I don’t think so, the hunger isn’t there in CS for me anymore and I feel like I could have reached my peak, I haven’t even thought of launching the game and the only time I watch is to see some Endpoint games to support the UK boys but that’s about it, I could never rule anything out but I’m very happy with VALORANT and I’m enjoying the game a lot more compared to CS.
As well as a large shift of CS:GO players to VALORANT, Overwatch is also losing some of its best contenders to the new FPS title.
Swedish-born Kevin "TviQ" Lindström played in the OWL for Florida Mayhem, and was known for his wide hero pool, and incredible performances.
On April 4, 2020, Kevin announced he was quitting Overwatch, and moving on to the “next game” to go pro.
ive had a amazing time but its time to move on and get on next game to go pro
GGRecon: Talk us through your switch from Overwatch to VALORANT?
As I have become incredibly bored with Overwatch mainly as that is no longer the game I loved and finding the league (OWL) really boring I decided to move on with the next game and VALORANT seemed like the right direction to go. I’ve played a fair bit of CS back in the day before Overwatch came out and I enjoyed it a lot, as I have now with VALORANT. It’s been super fun playing the beta and I can’t wait to get back into it at full release.
GGRecon: What do you think of VALORANT as a game? Do you see many similarities between it and OW?
Many draw abilities as a similarity between OW and VALORANT but I really don’t see the games [as] even remotely close or similar, sure you can say that Overwatch players have a good idea of how to use abilities compared to other people coming from other games but I don’t think in core gameplay its even remotely similar.
GGRecon: What are your ambitions for your VALORANT pro player career?
It’s pretty straight forward - to become #1 and beat the s*** out of everyone!
GGRecon: Do you think you’ll ever return to OW?
I don’t believe I will ever return to Overwatch; it just isn’t a game I want to play anymore. I have lost all passion I had for it and I really don’t believe it will ever return.
With the full release of VALORANT just around the corner on June 2, ec1s and TviQ could prove to be the best contenders in the pro scene.
Images via Riot Games, Overwatch League & Prodigy Agency