Valorant is one of the most popular video games in 2021, but it has also become the most toxic one, according to a new report.
Keeping a healthy environment in the team lobby can be difficult, especially in first-person shooter games where communication is crucial. Players must coordinate to win, but slight miscommunication can often lead to toxicity in competitive games. Valorant is the new game in this category, and it has quickly become the most toxic one according to adl.org.
New stats show that Valorant’s player base may not be as wholesome as it appears to be. Around 89% of players have experienced hate and harassment in Valorant in the past six months, the highest among all video games involved in the research. Call of Duty came close with 85%, followed by Dota 2 with 84% of players being a target of online bullies. It’s worth noting that the top five toxic games are comparatively older and have larger player bases.
Valorant was released in 2020. Since then, it has quickly expanded its player count with attractive agent characters and addictive gameplay. The developers have proactively handled community responses regarding cheaters and bullies, but it seems to all be in vain. The game still boasts a high number of toxic players, according to this report. The cases of toxicity have continued for the second consecutive year.
Why are Valorant players so toxic?
It’s not made clear exactly why Valorant ranks so high in toxicity, but it may have something to do with player variety in the game. When Valorant was released, many players transitioned in from Fortnite, CSGO, Overwatch, and more. Valorant didn’t really create its own community from scratch, but rather has an assortment of players from other genres and categories. As these games saw a decrease in toxicity, Valorant registered a hike.
Compared to other shooter games like CSGO, Valorant developers have actively encouraged marginalized genders to partake in professional tournaments. This has led to a much diversified player base. In 2021, more women are playing Valorant competitively. But sexism remains an issue in Valorant. Many women have reported instances of online harassment, and this continue to be common as more women join Valorant.
While Riot Games has achieved a diverse player base, it seems to have missed out on creating a safe space. The developer has actively plucked out bad actors from ranked queues, but toxic players seem to be difficult to flush out entirely. Hopefully, the new stats will shine a light on this issue that continues to grow as the game gets more popular.