100 Thieves’ steel explains why Valorant rank and K/D aren’t important

Brad Norton
Valorant Gameplay with steel

Ranking up in any competitive FPS is often the goal of many players, though Counter-Strike veteran turned Valorant champion Joshua ‘steel’ Nissan argues that your rank and individual stats aren’t important.

Having competed at the highest level for over a decade now, the 100 Thieves pro has played his fair share of ranked games across a number of titles. Despite pushing to the very top of Valorant esports and taking out the final trophy of 2020, steel doesn’t see much value in the online ranked experience.

Ultimately, “it doesn’t mean anything,” he outlined in a Jan. 2 Twitter thread. While players put stock into their place on the scoreboard and the icon next to their name, none of it is relevant in the grand scheme of things, according to steel.

Playing to improve your rank and increase your kills is one thing. Your overall goal, though, should simply be to “get good and f**k all the noise,” he said.

“Pros will change how they play the game just because they want to be viewed a certain way by the community,” he continued.

Perhaps rather than taking a measured approach in competitive, a streamer might play more aggressively than they typically would. The more explosive gameplay gets the attention, after all.

“I think that’s a horrible mindset to have,” steel said. Not only does it place an emphasis on a certain ELO, but it could also influence nitty-gritty details such as your style of aim, according to the veteran. “They act like it actually matters and it really f**king doesn’t.”

When steel was grinding his way through online CS at the start of his esports career, he put all his effort into what were “essentially CS Source pubs,” he explained. Though his time might have been better spent as “no one” in the pro scene “gave a f**k.”

“When you stop playing this game, no one is going to be like ‘remember this guy, he was Radiant,’… no one gives a f**k.”

“The fact that it’s such a big deal to aspiring pro players and the community at large, it’s actually a f**king joke.” Regardless of your rank, regardless of your kills per game, “stats in a vacuum don’t mean sh*t,” according to steel.

“Nobody cares about your rank in this game. Play to get better and the stats/rank/elo will reflect it.”

Whether you’re in Immortal or Bronze, steel believes you should focus on yourself rather than trying to play for better stats or a better rank.

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