Gabriel and I are both very lucky to have sons we sort of understand. It's possible to get into fights because you're too alike, I don't know if you've ever seen any movies about fathers and sons, but it comes up. In both our cases we had to learn to take the Real World in small doses, like Iocaine Powder, until we had developed enough immunity to live there safely.
Ultimately, what it means is that Gabriel the Younger is learning how to program every day in what is functionally a cave and my own son spent the afternoon trying to turn an old fan into a cotton candy machine. So… success? For some values of "success"?
I think about Apex Legends a lot, how a relatively small amount of money - not small to human beings but small compared to typical marketing budgets - was able to give the impression that Fortnite had become a relic. Because Twitch only has so much concurrency, you can effectuate massive swings with redirections like this, functionally getting double duty by raising one number and lowering another. Twitch is entirely about perception; that is the product.
Watching Valorant streams to get beta drops has been even more effective than that. In the other case, the streamer was being paid directly, and it's hard to make the case that it wasn't an incredible investment. In this new construct, they're getting better numbers than Apex did for nothing except the idea that being able to install their new game is a reward in and of itself. So obviously, I read Riot's account of their eSports intentions for Valorant with keen interest. What they're saying is that it's up to the community to create and sustain this foundation. Presumably until it can be metabolized by Riot, Professionalized, in the way that mature wheat is "professionalized" when the scythe is drawn across it.
It's interesting, but I think I get it. It's possible to come out too strong with your eSports aspirations; Heroes of the Storm is a good example, or maybe a bad example, or just an example of something being bad. A cautionary tale, maybe. I thought that game was cool, but I didn't play it very much. Did it fail because of me?!
Valorant's true purpose is to displace Counter-Strike, which would essentially bring Riot into possession of the Chaos Emeralds. I don't think you can even do that purely with a show of overwhelming force. I think it's vital, in fact, to commandeer the community resources that sustain CS as a vital concern - to create tough choices for teams and organizers. I like Valorant a lot. I think it's good. I don't think it requires any skullduggery to announce its virtues. But I have to tell you: I find this metagame infinitely more fascinating.