Ethan Arnold recently transitioned to VALORANT, leaving behind CS:GO after five years to join 100 Thieves. And while there may be a bit of learning curve, he’s “excited” about diving into it a new game.
Following a 2-0 sweep over Immortals in the VCT NA Masters One quarterfinals, Ethan discussed his reasoning behind switching to VALORANT. And competing in a "very fresh" game is a big part of it.
"For me, personally, CS was getting really stale," Ethan told Dot Esports. "Nothing has really changed in the last two years. Everything right now in VALORANT seems very fresh and I think that's something I was excited about, learning a whole new game."
Ethan also commended VALORANT devs for "[taking] professional feedback very seriously," something that CS was "really lacking."
Even though starting anew was an exhilarating process for Ethan, he added that CS:GO's transition to Europe was also a factor in his decision. Since a lot of major CS events take place overseas, it meant "a lot more travel" and "a lot of time away from home." That's also a reason why 100 Thieves exited CS:GO, along with added pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ethan is definitely not the first 100 Thieves player to seek greener pastures with VALORANT. All four of his teammates—Spencer "Hiko" Martin, Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella, Joshua "steel" Nissan, and Peter "Asuna" Mazuryk—made the switch, as well. And this hefty CS:GO experience is a big contributor to the team's success.
Ethan left Evil Geniuses to join one of the more successful VALORANT teams in 100 Thieves, who were crowned First Strike champions in 2020. While that may add to the pressure of learning the strategies and mechanics of a new game, Ethan says his team "made it very comfortable" for him.
"They were just like 'We know you have a lot to learn, so don't worry. We're going to go through it with you.'"
For now, Ethan's taken over nitr0's smoking duties on Omen. And he believes Omen is "the easiest agent to learn coming from Counter Strike." But he does believe that may eventually change as new agents are released, other agents are buffed, or 100 Thieves wants to try something new.
100 Thieves will continue their VCT Masters run in the semifinals against Sentinels on Sunday, March 14. And it'll likely be their biggest test yet.
"They're definitely one of the best teams we've played so far with me on the roster," Ethan said. "We're just going to do what we normally do and prepare. And they have a stand-in [Tyson "TenZ" Ngo], so we're just going to prepare for that, too."