Riot Games’ Episode 2 tweaks to Valorant;s ranked game mode has ruffled a few feathers as stressed out players complain about the “trash” ranking system.
Valorant’s new update introduced major changes to the game in the form of a ranked system that overhauled how players stack up against each other. While most players lauded the developer’s effort to make the shooter more competitive, professional players have their reservations.
In a recent stream alongside Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk, Spencer “Hiko” Martin blasted Valorant for a “trash” system that won’t let Asuna play on his main account.
100 Thieves Valorant player Hiko broke down the inconveniences that high-tier players are dealing with following the ranked changes. He elaborated that long queues after the update are forcing players to abandon their main accounts. For example, his teammate Asuna can find a game within minutes on his alternate Radiant account, but fails to find a single match on his main Platinum III account.
“It takes longer to get games on his main account than his alt account, and his alt account is literally rank one. He thinks his [MMR] on his Platinum 3 account is higher than his #1 Radiant account, and that right there is why the ranking system right now is trash,” Hiko said.
The Valorant pro further explained that the wait time could be attributed to Asuna’s elo on his main ID that ranks at Platinum III. According to Hiko, his main account’s hidden MMR surpassed the elo on his Radiant account. The disparity shows that players who were ranked higher in earlier seasons are having a tough time finding matches against players with similar enough rank and elo. This is due to Valorant’s new system where the hidden MMR is taken into consideration for matchups.
After the recent updates, Valorant matchmaking became highly reliant on the hidden MMR in addition to the visible in-game rank. Simply put, if Riot thinks your skill level equates Radiant rank, you’ll match up with players who have similar skill regardless of visible rank. However, players with high MMR sometimes fail to find opportunities for play due to point disparity, leaving no option but to create smurf accounts.
The problem with Valorant matchmaking has been there since day one of its release. When Episode 2 was freshly revealed, Tyson “TenZ“ Ngo expressed his frustration regarding queue times when he couldn’t find a game for 24 hours. The developer took notice and said that issues had been resolved in patch 2.01. However, Hiko’s claims of the same inconvenience continuing tells a different story.
4 hours into my 24 hour stream and we couldn’t get 1 game on my main sadge
— TenZ / Tyson (C9) (@TenZ_CS) January 14, 2021
Smurfing has become a major nuisance for Valorant players. While the developer has made efforts to deal with the issue, recent rank changes encourage players to create new accounts. The vicious cycle adds more smurfs to the game and affects legitimate attempts to climb the ranked ladder.