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Published: July 12, 2021

Written by: Barney

  • After a snap decision to retire in June this year, Nathan “NBK-“Schmitt has confirmed his shift to Valorant
  • Schmitt has been a part of the competitive CS:GO community for 11 years, aching for a change
  • The shift to Valorant is a part of the player’s ambition to stay true to himself 

After 11 years in competitive Counter-Strike, NBK- needed some change so that he may stay true to himself. Thankfully, Valorant came around. 

Finding Joy and New Challenges in Valorant 

When Nathan “NBK-“Schmitt retired from professional Counter-Strike in June this year, many foretold the end of the CS:GO competitive community. While there has been some thinning of the herd, with many professional players migrating to Valorant to test new battlegrounds and become early torchbearers in the game’s burgeoning esports community, Counter-Strike has continued to do particularly well.

In fact, the BLAST Premier Series announced more events on its circuit, IEM Cologne 2021 returned with $1 million in prize pools and not least WePlay Esports launching a league for established teams’ academies. In a word, everything around CS:GO suggests a vibrant and tight-knit community that is nevertheless growing.

Speaking to Runitback, though, Schmitt did give his reasons for making the jump from CS:GO to Valorant, a community he has been a part of for 11 years now. The good news is that Schmitt did not do so out of some impulse to abandon ship before it crashes into a floating iced-over monstrosity.

Rather, he just wanted to try something new, and after the many years, he has spent playing professional CS:GO, it was only natural to crave that change. Still, he did point out some problems with the current state of competitive CS:GO, and not least the way the pandemic has impacted LAN events.

Staying True to One’s Self 

“It’s hard to stay motivated,” the Frenchman noted, and he assured that while he could have stayed in CS:GO and remained one of the Top 20 players, he would not have been true to himself. The skills he has cultivated in Counter-Strike, though, will not go to waste in an FPS title such as Valorant.

Built around the same idea as Counter-Strike, Valorant intertwines unique fantasy elements into the gameplay, using “agent abilities” to create a new and dynamic pace of play that revitalizes the known FPS dynamic and adds new opportunities for highly skilled players.

The good news is that Riot Games is specializing in developing new games that focus on the competitive element to stay alive. Yet, Riot is not pushing those games and betting on their organic growth through significant work on the developers’ end and the right community managers and third-party tournament hosts. 

Schmitt is still in search of a team, but he seems to be happy with his choice. That is great news for the burgeoning Valorant competitive scene. Just recently, DarkZero Esports decided to scoop up the Kooky Koalas roster and join Valorant competitive play

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