Valorant is a team-based tactical shooter from Riot Games, the studio behind League of Legends. "Tactical" means the game favors slower-paced, more deliberate gameplay based on positioning and ability usage -- more Rainbow Six Siege than Call of Duty, though the closest comparison is Counter-Strike. But Valorant also features various agents with unique abilities, akin to Apex Legends and Overwatch.
If all the excitement around the Valorant Stage 3 Masters tournament has piqued your interest in the game, now is a great time to get started.
In Valorant's primary game mode, you play as an agent on a team of five players, facing off against an opposing team of players. There are other game modes, like free-for-all deathmatch, which are great for warming up and practicing with different guns.
Each match takes place on one of several maps with different styles and layouts -- from cramped monasteries to seaside ruins with long sightlines. One team starts as the attackers, with the goal of eliminating the enemy team and planting a bomb, known as the "spike." The other team defends the map, attempting to wipe out the attackers before they can plant, and defusing the bomb if it does get planted. Teams switch sides after 12 rounds, and the first team to win 13 rounds wins the match -- though competitive mode requires teams to win by at least two rounds.