Valorant Launch: The Need To Know

The next big title from Riot Games, Valorant, has launched within Europe – a shock to many as some felt it may be too early to launch the game, but the publisher has insisted that there are going to be many changes within the game when it launches. They’ve been a little cryptic about what to expect and understandably have kept plenty a little close to the chest, but there are some things we do know about the launch of what could be the next big esports title.

New agent, new map – Riot have done a very good job at teasing both the new agent and the new map to be released – but there have been a number of videos released on social media on the run up to the release. The new agent is called Reyna, a hybrid healer and self-combat stim agent, with a teaser video showing off her skill set in a limited capacity – within this same video, the new map ‘Ascent’ had also been teased with a feature not yet shown in the game also being revealed – a destructible environment. The launch trailer shows Reyna absorbing enemy agent souls, healing herself, giving herself a combat stim and over shield, as well as a pseudo flashbang – players will no doubt be excited to jump into playing both her and the new map in the coming days.

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Changes to ranked – It has been made quite clear too that there will be changes to the ranked game mode once the game launches too – there will be a period of time where ranked will be unavailable, likely to allow for balance changes to both the new agent and the new map, but also to allow time to get accustomed to the changes in gunplay. One thing that has been announced however is that the previous rank titles will be changed – largely due to confusion over the highest rank attainable. The previous progression had been for Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and finally Valorant – the top rank especially led to some confusion, understandably as it is the name of the game itself, and as such the developers have stated there will be an overhaul here.

Players can also expect big changes to some gunplay as further weapon balance is expected – there has been no word or confirmation on just what changes can be expected in this regard, but there were some glaring weapon and skill imbalances still in place at the end of the beta. It’s likely that huge changes won’t come, but smaller incremental changes over the coming days and weeks before ranked finally does release.

There has been more great news for both gameplay and esports fans as Riot had announced a launch tournament with a prize pool of $200,000, something that will be well supported by fans, also picking up offers at – this is the first officially hosted tournament, likely to be followed by many more with bigger prize pools and a number of community run events too, but with all of the exposure gained from streaming along with this announcement, the game is already off to a much better start than many.

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