5 features Valorant desperately needs - Dexerto
Valorant

5 features Valorant desperately needs

Published: 11/Aug/2020 8:25 Updated: 30/Aug/2020 17:47

by Andrew Amos

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Valorant has been out of beta for over two months now. While some of our wishes have been fulfilled (FFA Deathmatch, anyone?), there’s still some big features that would make Riot’s new FPS title just that little bit better.

Valorant did have a pretty quick turnaround from announcement to launch. From only being shared publicly in October 2019, to closed beta in April, to full launch by June, it’s unsurprising the game still feels barebones at times. That kind of turn around doesn’t happen often.

While Riot has put in the hard yards to make Valorant as enjoyable as possible throughout the beta and the first few months of launch, there’s a few features players want to see added that’ll make the game even better.

A new map (and map selection)

Ascent in Valorant
Riot Games
It’s been almost three months since Ascent was added as Valorant’s fourth map.

This is a pretty simple suggestion in theory, but less so in practice. Valorant’s four maps have served the community well so far, but there’s a number of advantages a fifth map would bring.

First of all, it would make competitive Bo5’s a bit more logical. You won’t be forced to watch the same teams play twice on the same map in a series if it goes the distance. This is especially relevant as pro play only keeps ramping up with more Ignition Series events.

There’s a bit more to it than that though. For the average player, a fifth map will freshen things up. Valorant doesn’t have the luxury of a game like CS:GO where players can choose to play on community-made maps.

The addition of another map could even push Riot towards introducing other much-requested features, like map bans, or map selection for competitive play. Being able to choose what maps you can or cannot play isn’t on Riot’s radar right now ⁠— citing high queue times ⁠— but players can still hold out hope that as more maps are added, Riot’s hand might be forced.

Solo queue in Rated

Valorant ranks as of Act 2
Riot Games
While Riot are working on improving ranked as a whole, a new solo queue would help immensely.

Ranked play in Valorant had been a contentious point throughout the closed beta. While some members of the community have been calling on Riot to introduce a solo queue, the devs have pushed back.

Although, it might be a good time for Riot to break new ground in the FPS genre and add it. Solo queue is a massive success in League of Legends. Across all the major FPS titles, there are very few ways to queue up and get games against other solos ⁠— especially in a tactical shooter.

While team-play should be part of the indicator of one’s skill, rank baiting and five-stack coordinated play can inflate one’s actual skill level. Not only that, but queue parity ⁠– that’s pairing five stacks against other five stacks ⁠– isn’t working yet.

Adding a separate solo queue (alongside having a flex-queue for anyone who wants to queue up in a party), could be the solution. It’s a system that has worked well in League of Legends, so it makes sense to add it to Valorant.

Replay system (and better spectator tools)

Riot Games
With a replay system, you won’t need Cypher cams to admire your glorious gameplay.

The only way to review your demos in Valorant currently is if you record them yourself. There’s also a lot left to be desired from Valorant’s current spectating system. Adding a replay system will probably kill these two birds with one stone.

While it’s remarkable in the first place that Valorant had a spectating feature during the closed beta, it’s not the easiest to use by any stretch. With no time controls, it can be pretty difficult to jump backwards in play to catch those epic replays.

Introducing a replay system will allow for that. Players will be able to review their demos post-match, scrubbing backwards and forwards from different angles to see how the game played out. In turn, spectators will also have better tools to keep up with the action.

We already know a replay system is in the works. Riot wants to add one for multiple purposes… Not just for spectating, but for introducing a CS:GO-style player-driven ban system. But in our books, the sooner it comes, the better!

In-game Rated tournaments

Riot Games
Clash would be a perfect addition to Valorant.

One of the best features added to League of Legends in recent years is Clash. While the in-game tournament system got off to a rocky start, having monthly tournaments in the game itself, with plenty of prizes on offer, has made coordinated play outside of third-party events much more enjoyable.

Valorant has a real chance to capitalize on this market in their own client. While services like FACEIT and ESEA exist for CS:GO, there’s nothing developed in-house by Valve. Riot can put up prizes like specific Player Cards and special weapon skins for players who participate and win — just like Clash.

With the Clash system, too, it wouldn’t just be pub-stomping from higher-ranked players. Players would be seeded into divisions against players of a similar rank to make for a competitive experience.

Understandably, a feature like this could be months ⁠– or even years ⁠– down the line. If it was eventually added, it would add another lay to Valorant’s competitive mode — giving players something to play for (even if you’re the cream of the crop).

Major fixes to sound design

Sova in Valorant
Riot Games
Valorant’s sound design needs a lot of fixing.

While hit registration complaints are all the rage right now in the community, there’s another big issue that often gets shunned to the side, and that’s sound design. Yes, it’s not a totally new feature like everything else in this list, but it’s a major issue that needs to be addressed.

Sound in Valorant is a finicky beast. It’s often hard to tell when a player is walking to your left or right. Commonly, you just have to rely on map layouts and knowing what floors made what sound where.

A player running right on the edge of your sound radius can also sound just as loud as a player within touching distance. It really depends on the map layout, but it’s all a major issue regardless.

Looking at fixing sound design is obviously high on Riot’s priority list, and they’ve mentioned in the past they are already deep diving into the problem. However, until it’s fixed, players are going to be eternally confused as to how they got snuck up on, or why a certain player didn’t seemingly make any sound ⁠— or too much of it.


Have we missed something? If there’s something that you’re itching to see in Future Earth, be sure to let us know on Twitter @ValorantUpdates!

Valorant

Valorant First Strike: streams, schedule, format

Published: 17/Nov/2020 15:30 Updated: 17/Nov/2020 15:27

by Andrew Amos

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Riot are now taking the reins with Valorant esports. First Strike marks Riot’s intentions of taking over the game, after giving community organizers the chance to give players a taste. There’s more on the line than ever before too.

We’ve had a taste of what Valorant esports could look like with the Ignition Series. Now, Riot are looking to up the ante to make sure Valorant sticks around for the years to come.

First Strike comes just months after the game’s release, and it’ll be Riot’s first endeavor operating the game’s esports scene directly. While there’s still community involvement, Riot are taking the reins. So here’s what you need to know about Valorant First Strike, from where to watch, the format, how to enter if you are keen, as well as keeping track of the big winners across the world.

Valorant First Strike: Stream

While there are many regions, you can find all of the First Strike streams in one uniform place ⁠— on the official Valorant Twitch account. 

We’ve embedded the main stream below so that you can easily jump into all the action.

Valorant First Strike: Format

Each First Strike event will feature open qualifiers which lead into regional finals. Any team that meets the requirements are able to sign up and test their mettle to fight their way to the top.

Once the top eight are decided, they’ll be sent off into a regional final across four days ⁠— December 3 to 6. From here, only one will be crowned the First Strike champion, taking away all of the regional bragging rights.

Qualifiers for First Strike will be starting in late October, although not all regions have locked their dates in. This will lead into the regional finals in December. We’ve listed the currently known qualifiers, schedules, and results below.

First Strike will take place across these regions. We’ve included a jump to section to make your lives a little easier…

Jump to section

First Strike: Europe (November 9 – 22)

First-Strike-EU

“Ready up, agents – the first Riot-produced European VALORANT tournament is on the way. VALORANT First Strike: Europe will be an epic test of skill and teamwork, as the best players in the region compete for glory and a share of the $100,000 (€85,000) prize pool.”

  • Open Qualifiers: November 9 to 22, four in total.
    • Top 16 teams from each Open Qualifier will progress to Play-Ins.
    • Top 16 teams from Play-Ins will progress to Playoffs.
    • Top 8 teams in Playoffs will progress to Regional Finals.
      Place Team
      1 – 4th G2 Esports
      FunPlusPhoenix
      Team Liquid
      SUMN FC
      5 – 8th TBD
      TBD
      TBD
      TBD
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: North America (October 26 – November 22)

Valorant First Strike Hub header

“A few weeks ago we announced the first official Riot Games-produced VALORANT tournament, First Strike. Now, here’s how we’ll go from two NA qualifiers to the top 8 teams battling for their share of the $100K prize pool, and the title as first First Strike champion.”

  • NSG Open Qualifier: October 26 to 30:
    • Top 16 teams advance to UMG Open Qualifier.
  • NSG Tournament : November 4 to 8.
    • Top 4 teams advance to VALORANT First Strike Event
    • Next 4 teams advance to the UMG Tournament.
      Place Team
      1st Team Envy
      2nd 100 Thieves
      3rd – 4th Renegades
      Sentinels
      5 – 8th Cloud9 Blue
      Complexity Gaming
      T1
      TSM
  • UMG Open Qualifier: November 11 to 15.
    • 12 teams from UMG advance to the second qualifying tournament.
  • UMG Tournament: November 18 to 22.
    • Note: Pool includes 4 teams from NSG Tournament
    • Top 4 teams advance to VALORANT First Strike Event
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6.
    • 8 teams compete for $100K prize pool

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: Korea (October 6 – November 22)

First-Strike-Korea

“For the first time in Valorant’s history, the massive e-sports competition’First Strike’ is unfolding!

First Strike is a competition hosted and hosted by Riot Games, and is held simultaneously in 9 regions including Korea, North America, Europe, Independent Nations, Turkey, Asia, Oceania, Brazil, and the Middle East. The first regional Valorant championship will be selected and the finals will be concluded with regional finals held from December 3rd to 6th.”

  • Open Qualifiers: October 6 to 28. Four in total. Top 24 teams across all Qualifiers will make Closed Qualifier.
    • Open Qualifier 1: October 6 and 7
    • Open Qualifier 2: October 13 and 14
    • Open Qualifier 3: October 20 and 21
    • Open Qualifier 4: October 27 and 28
  • Closed Qualifier: November 22
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: Latin America (November 23 – December 1)

“Riot Games, in conjunction with GGTech, is preparing the first global event in Latin America for VALORANT, with two tournaments planned, one for the North and the other for the South.”

  • Open Qualifiers: November 23 to 26
  • Closed Qualifier: November 28 to December 1
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: CIS (October 22 – November 22)

First-Strike-CIS

“Riot Games’ first official VALORANT tournament is just around the corner. VALORANT First Strike: CIS will test your tactical abilities and teamwork skills – the best CIS players will come together in a battle for recognition and a prize fund of 4 million rubles.”

  • Playoffs: November 15 – 22. 32 teams compete, 8 go on to the regional finals.
  • Quarterfinals: December 3 – 4
  • Semifinals: December 5
  • Grand finals: December 6

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: Turkey (October 22 – November 22)

“The countdown has begun for the first big VALORANT tournament organized by Riot Games! The best VALORANT players in Turkey, taking the title of first champion to print the names of the ESP will make history in First Strike!”

  • Open Qualifiers: October 22 to November 22. Four in total. Top 8 in each will qualify for Closed Qualifier.
    • Open Qualifier 1: October 22 to 28
    • Open Qualifier 2: November 3 to 8
    • Open Qualifier 3: November 10 to 15
    • Open Qualifier 4: November 17 to 22

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: Japan (November 14 – November 22)

Valorant First Strike header

“We are pleased to announce that VALORANT’s first official tournament ‘First Strike’, which will determine the first regional champion, will be held in Japan.”

  • Open Qualifiers: November 14 to November 22. Two in total. Top 4 in each will qualify for First Strike Regional Finals.
    • Open Qualifier 1: November 14 and 15
    • Open Qualifier 2: November 21 and 22

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: MENA (November 1 – November 23)

Valorant Strike Arabia header

“It is time for new legacies, and the road begins with Strike Arabia – the first official VALORANT esports tournament in MENA, and an extension of First Strike, a global event that will showcase the greatest gunplays, ignite the spirit of competition and crown the world’s first ever regional champions.”

  • GCC Qualifier: November 1 to 25. Top 3 teams progress to GCC First Strike Regional Finals.
  • Levant and Egypt Qualifier: November 1 to 24. Top 3 teams progress to Levant and Egypt First Strike Regional Finals.
  • North Africa Qualifier: November 1 to 23. Top 3 teams progress to North Africa First Strike Regional Finals.

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: Asia-Pacific (November 8 – December 6)

Valorant First Strike HK TW

APAC is split into five divisions for First Strike with their own regional finals: Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia/Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong/Taiwan.

  • ESL Thailand First Strike: December 3 to 6.
    • Open Series: October 31. Top 1 progresses to Regional Finals.
    • Open Qualifier 1: November 8 and 9. Top 2 progress to Regional Finals.
    • Open Qualifier 2: November 15 and 16. Top 2 progress to Regional Finals.
  • Mineski VxV Philippines First Strike: December 3 to 6. Top 16 teams, four from each Open Qualifier.
    • Open Qualifier 1: November 7.
    • Open Qualifier 2: November 8.
    • Open Qualifier 3: November 14.
    • Open Qualifier 4: November 15.
  • The Gaming Company Malaysia & Singapore First Strike: December 5 and 6.
    • Open Qualifiers: November 22 and 23. Top 8 progress to Regional Finals.
  • ONE Up Indonesia First Strike: December 2 to 6. 16 teams, including 4 invited teams.
    • Open Qualifier 1: October 24. Top 4 progress to Regional Finals.
    • Open Qualifier 2: October 31 and November 1. Top 4 progress to Regional Finals.
    • Open Qualifier 3: November 14 and 15. Top 4 progress to Regional Finals.
  • Talon Esports Hong Kong and Taiwan First Strike: December 3 to 6.
    • Open Qualifier 1: November 21 and 22. Top 4 progress to Regional Finals.
    • Open Qualifier 2: November 28 and 29. Top 4 progress to Regional Finals.

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First Strike: Brazil (October 7 – November 15)

First-Strike-Brazil

“After a few months of development of the professional scenario of VALORANT, with independent championships giving new teams and players the opportunity to develop, and the Ignition Series crowning the best of the best, the time has come to take a step forward. Here comes VALORANT First Strike, the first official VALORANT tournament from Riot Games, and you can be part of this story, if you have a bullet to change!”

  • Open Qualifiers: October 17 to November 8. Four in total. Top 8 in each will qualify for Closed Qualifier.
    • Open Qualifier 1: October 17 and 18
    • Open Qualifier 2: October 24 and 15
    • Open Qualifier 3: October 31 and November 1
    • Open Qualifier 4: November 7 and 8
  • Closed Qualifier: November 14 and 15
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6

More information can be found here.

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First Strike: Oceania (October 24 to November 29)

First-Strike-Oce

“There are up to 32 slots up for grabs in Rise of Valour. Joined by Riot’s invited teams, those qualifying will compete with Oceania’s top players in Rise of Valour to be one of the 8 to qualify for First Strike this Summer.”

  • Open Qualifier 1: Saturday October 24 and Sunday October 25
  • Open Qualifier 2: Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1
  • Rise of Valour: November 14 to 29. Top 32 teams from Open Qualifiers.
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6.

More information can be found here.

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