Shroud says ‘Counter-Strike’ difficulty is “a joke” compared to ‘Valorant’

"There's no sugar-coating it or anything, it's just hard"

Former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) pro Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek has shared that he thinks the difficulty of Riot Games‘ shooter Valorant makes Counter-Strike look like “a joke”.

After being killed in a Valorant match, Shroud – who is making his professional Valorant debut next month – said: “This game’s hard. Counter-Strike looks like a joke compared to this game, I’m telling you” (via Dexerto).

“There’s no sugar-coating it or anything, it’s just hard,” added Shroud. The streamer went on to speculate that Valorant is “so hard because everyone is so good, and everyone is so good is because the game is arguably easier – maybe that’s why? It keeps the competition high.”


Shroud is well-placed to compare Valve and Riot’s competitive shooters, as the streamer spent five years playing CS:GO professionally before retiring to stream full-time in 2017. Earlier in the year, Shroud announced that he was coming out of retirement to play Valorant competitively, and will make his debut playing for Sentinels at a Valorant Masters Qualifier in August.

Valorant Killjoy
Killjoy’s Nanoswarm ability. Credit: Riot Games

Long before Shroud announced the beginning of his Valorant career, he has been vocal of Riot’s success with the shooter.

“I come from competitive Counter-Strike, and Valorant is the first tac shooter in a long time that has a company behind it that truly gives a damn,” the streamer said in 2021.

While Valorant saw Riot Games successfully break into the tactical shooter scene, it isn’t going to be the last genre the studio tries its hand at. Earlier in the week, John Needham – president of esports at Riot Games – told NME that “nearly every game” the company makes will be competitive.

“All the games that Riot produces, we really look at games that can span generations. Usually those games are online competitive games,” shared Needham. “I think that almost every game that you see Riot produce and develop will be competitive, which by its nature of being competitive, there’ll be some sort of esports component to it.”