Valorant devs discuss changes to competitive mode before launch

Olivia R. June 23, 2020

With patch 1.02 arriving on June 27, Valorant developers decided to discuss what players should expect with the return of competitive matchmaking. 

Valorant was launched earlier in the summer without competitive mode, giving developers time to tweak the ranked play system. This left many competitive players wondering when they'd finally be able to climb the ladder again, since all they were told at the time was that it would be "a few patches" into the launch. Director Joe Ziegler finally confirmed that competitive mode was coming in a tweet last week. 

Now, Riot is officially outlining some changes people should expect in competitive matchmaking. 

"A huge thank you to all of you for the feedback during VALORANT Closed Beta, your input helped inform our next steps. So, based on that feedback, we targeted a few areas to level up for competitive launch," senior producer Ian "Brighteyz" Fielding explained in a recent blog post

He also added that people shouldn't stop commenting their concerns and feedback, since the ranked system is a "living work in progress" and they are going to continue to make improvements. 

Valorant changes top rank name

One of the biggest changes coming to competitive matchmaking is the rank iconography and the top rank name, which was formerly Valorant. This was a name that Valorant developers admitted was a little bit confusing despite them personally liking them being the same. The new name for the top rank is Radiant, which represents "agents infused with powers." 

Based on feedback from the closed beta, Valorant developers also made it easier to distinguish between each rank by adding rank colors and a visual polish. 

Placement matches and premades in Valorant competitive mode

Another big change developers focused on was making it easier to compete alongside friends. Players can now enter matchmaking with friends during placements even if they have a sizable skill discrepancy. They are also focused on putting players in "fair and balanced matches" no matter the size of their premade team. 

"We’ve made it easier to play with teammates in placements, and will continue to work to further optimize for balanced matches, regardless of your premade size. This is an ongoing commitment from us," Brighteyz said. 

Immortal and Radiant players saw some added matchmaking improvements, since developers are aware there is a "slight advantage" to being in a five-stack versus playing solo when at high ranks. According to Brighteyz, developers are looking into "tactics" to address that specific problem, with more information to be shared later in the year. 

Valorant's update on rank progression

Each Valorant Act will span about two months. Players will have the chance to track their rank progress throughout the duration of each Valorant Act. When competitive mode is launched, players' ranked progress will start being tracked. Soon after patch 1.02, players will also be provided with visible match history information as well as overall performance statistics. 

"Rank progress we are looking at tracking are stats such as how you’ve climbed in rank over the Act, your number of wins, along with your wins at your highest achieved rank," Brighteyz noted. 

While these big changes have been the Valorant developers' main focus for the competitive launch, other changes are coming in the near future that will improve team support and overtime handling. They are also looking at the addition of leaderboards, but for now they are focused on getting comeptitive matchmaking launched globally. 

"Our vision for the future highlights teamplay as a critical part of the Valorant competitive ccosystem. We want to create the opportunity for all players to come together and compete at high stakes as a team, with the hope these team-oriented competitive matches will be memorable and rewarding events," Brighteyz added.

More updates are coming later in 2020.