VALORANT is introducing its new Black Market skinline for Patch 6.07 and it is one of the most exciting skinlines released so far. The skinline features cosmetics for the Vandal, Marshal, Classic, Bulldog, and Melee Weapon. What makes this skinline exciting and unique is that it features a different look on both Attacking and Defending rounds. This is the first time such specific cosmetic nuance is featured in VALORANT, which makes this skinline very desirable. What makes this skinline highly-anticipated? In this article, we will look at the Black Market skinline and compare it to the previous “realistic” skinlines, Recon and Infantry.
What is the Black Market Skinline?
The Black Market skinline is the new entry in the VALORANT Store and has generated quite a buzz days before launch. It features the Vandal, Bulldog, Classic, Marshal, and the Melee Weapon with a different cosmetic depending on the side you are in. For example, the Vandal skin’s cosmetic is different when you’re on the Attacker side and changes after the sides switch. For the first time, this skinline does not include a player banner, gun buddy, and a player title as part of the bundle. The bundle is available for 7,100 VALORANT Points (VP) but it is also available for individual purchase with the guns priced at 1,775 VP and the Melee Weapon priced at 3,550 VP. The Melee Weapon is probably the most desireable in this collection as it is the most realistic interpretation of the butterfly knife. But, the guns are also close to their real-world counterparts. [Note: Do not confuse the Black Market skinline with the similarly labeled Night Market which is concurrently in VALORANT as of this writing.]
Wait… This Skin Looks Familiar…
The Black Market skinline is directly inspired from real guns which shows where the VALORANT guns may have taken inspiration from. This short list shows the real-world gun that the Black Market skinline got its design from:
- Vandal -> AK-47
2. Bulldog -> FAMAS
3. Marshal – Steyr Scout
4. Classic – Glock-18
5. Melee Weapon – Butterfly Knife
If the skinline screams a popular tactical first-person shooter, then it most likely is. Comparisons to Counter Strike: Global Offensive were also observed. In a most extreme example, the Bulldog is also likened to the burst rifle in the Halo series, whose design draws heavily from the FAMAS/Bullpup look.
Comparison to Other Realistic Skinlines
The Black Market skinline is the third VALORANT skinline that is derived from realistic gun cosmetics. The two previous skins, Infantry and Recon, were also quite popular in the community. However, as the more fantasy-themed skins gained better traction among fans, they fell out of favor with the Infantry Operator being the only one that can be seen even in the highest level of VALORANT games. The hype surrounding the Black Market skinline, considering also the context of the announcement of a new Counter Strike game and the appeal of the skinline to change depending on which side the user is on, gives this a much-needed boost that the Infantry and Recon did not have. However, what is clear is that the butterfly knife is worth the price of admission.
Player’s Perception Towards the Black Market Skinline
Content creators such as Tarik and AverageJonas have praised the skinline and comically edited their videos to match the gun sounds of Counter Strike, props to their editor. The skinline is very popular with content creators who came from Counter Strike and have praised its equivalent to VALORANT. Another content creator, Red, who plays with AverageJonas has mentioned that the skinline is “sick” and gave him “aimbot” (auto aim) but, really, he just has an insane pre-aim. Players in my matches have commented that some guns remind them of other games. The Bulldog, in particular, has drawn comparisons to the BR75 and BR85 Battle Rifles from the Halo series, which in turn was heavily inspired from the FAMAS/Bullpup design.
If the skinline has a lineage drawing from different generations of players, then it must be a good skinline.
Is It Worth it to Buy the Black Market Skinline?
From the looks of it alone, the skinline is worth it. The added cosmetic change every time players switch sides makes it even more than its monetary value. But the real worth of this skinline is the sense of realism that the featured weapons have and the different nostalgic reactions that players had when they saw the skinline. Counter Strike veterans, Halo players, military history enthusiasts, and even those who want to experience VALORANT through a non-cartoonish/fantasy perspective will love this skinline. Grouped with the other realistic skinlines, this set is also for the completionists who waited for another realistic skinline to be released.
Release Date and Price
The Black Market skinline is available as of this writing in the VALORANT Store and will be up for two weeks. The bundle price is 7,100 VP. The individual guns are priced at 1,775 VP each while the butterfly knife is priced at 3,550 VP.
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