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Tycho / on Mon, Apr 6 2020 at 12:01 am

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Hydrophenamate Valoranticene

I have to be very curious about something to try and harangue somebody for a code, because it doesn't feel good. Plus, people know they shouldn't give me codes, and that's sort of how it should be all the time. I should be slightly ashamed that I'm asking, and if they think they might send me a code, their pointer should hover with trepidation over the "send" button, their mind clouded with unlikely death scenarios, like in Final Destination.

I know the person who would determine if I got a code quite well, we've kept in touch as her career went from place to place, so I like my chances. But I also got into Formula 1: Drive To Survive, so whatever she decides is correct. By definition.

Riot is moving ahead in a variety of carefully chosen genres to transform itself into a kind of malt spill; sticky, with the broadest possible surface area. It projects into some kind of surprising stuff, but it would have to, because each of these things needs to be distinct to minimize cannibalism of their own power - the strategy overall I find really crafty. Especially after Darksiders Genesis, you can mark me down for whatever their Airship Syndicate collab ends up being. I'm not sure I'd be super interested in the fighting game if I hadn't played Rising Thunder, but I have, so I am. Legends of Runeterra I get. There's no RTS, because they already own the successor genre. I understand most of these, they're where you'd naturally go coupled with a few goodhearted bets.

But Valorant is the most bare knuckled, bloodthirsty one in the bunch, because it's trying to go after CS: GO.

It's the most data driven of the maneuvers. I am, by no means, an expert on these things. There's an entire ecosystem around eSports and the people and the games; it has its own cultural infrastructure. I recognize when I'm talking about a community that's fundamentally not my own, and my instinct is to honor them. But! I do have access to Steam Stats, and I can tell you that Steam - broadly speaking - is a piece of software whose primary moment-to-moment purpose is accessing Counter-Strike and Dota 2. I certainly didn't keep up with Counter-Strike, but that's my own failing - its weight and presence is profound. I think the last time I played it was 1.6, so… yeah. Maybe you were like me. Maybe you were caught off guard by the stories about gambling that popped up from time to time. Ultimately, and I don't think I'm wrong, eSports is essentially a story about League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The rest of Riot's bets on brand extension are carefully bonsai'd to avoid the first one, even as they leverage established champions - Valorant doesn't, which arguably makes it the only one of these that isn't functionally a tie-in product. It's not the "LOL Shooter," it's something else. Namely, an assassination attempt.

(CW)TB out.


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