Ex-Overwatch pro Sinatraa explains how Valorant is more lucrative - Dexerto
Valorant

Ex-Overwatch pro Sinatraa explains how Valorant is more lucrative

Published: 15/Jul/2020 15:04

by Andy Williams

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Former Overwatch pro, Jay ‘Sinatraa’ Won, has delved into the economics of his switch over to Valorant — and it’s proving to be a much more lucrative endeavor than many first thought.

Valorant as both a game and esport is still in its infancy. But with Riot putting competitive integrity at the forefront of their priorities, players are flocking from all corners of the esports world to compete at the highest level.

Plenty of big names have already found their home, with some switching from long-term careers in other titles — such as 100 Thieves captain, Spencer ‘Hiko’ Martin, who jumped ship over to Valorant after years of competing at the highest level in CS:GO.

But perhaps the most notable transfer from the early stages of the game, was last season’s Overwatch League MVP, Sinatraa, joining Sentinels as one-fifth of their star-studded lineup.

Sinatraa in an Overwatch League press conference.
Blizzard Entertainment
Sinatraa won the 2019 Overwatch League Playoffs with the San Francisco Shock.

Money’s no object

Despite being at the very top of the game, Won left competitive Overwatch on a high and decided to invest all of his time into Valorant — and it’s appearing to be a more fruitful venture than may have been expected, as he revealed in an interview with Forbes.

After leaving the structure and safety that comes with playing in a franchised league, many assumed that Won would struggle to break even. But even during the early stages of Valorant, there’s enough interest from potential sponsors to even out the score.

“I’ll say the salary is lower in Valorant, but it evens out with the amazing sponsors I get, that I couldn’t get in OWL due to restrictions,” the 20-year-old explained. Given that Sinatraa signed to San Francisco Shock in 2017 with a contract reportedly worth $150,000 per year (despite being unable to play for a good chunk of the season due to age restrictions), you’ll be able to estimate just how much Sentinels have forked out for the FPS hotshot.

Sinatraa competing for San Francisco Shock.
Blizzard Entertainment
Will Sinatraa reach the same level in Valorant as he did in Overwatch?

Will Valorant be the next big esport?

So what happened? Why was Won so eager to jump ship – while Valorant was still in its beta – when he was widely considered to be the best player in Overwatch at the time?

“I retired because I didn’t really have fun playing the game anymore,” said Won. “Basically, I just lost passion. My heart is with Valorant as of right now. I know I can always go back to OWL in an instant if I wanted, but I wanna see what I can do in Valorant.”

While there’s a good possibility that Riot Games may decide to pursue a similar route with Valorant’s esports ecosystem as they have League of Legends, there are no guarantees… Something that Sinatraa is all too familiar with.

“I think Valorant can be one of the biggest esports if they do things right with keeping the game fresh and attracting people globally… “I think an open ecosystem is really good in the beginning of games, but hopefully in a year or two there will be an established league.”

Given that Riot have kickstarted the Ignition Series with over 20 esports event organizers around the world, their intentions are clear. But whether Valorant will flourish under the spotlight remains to be seen.

Valorant

Valorant update 1.11 patch notes: Skye added, Economy & Agent changes

Published: 27/Oct/2020 13:27

by Calum Patterson

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Valorant’s 1.11 patch notes are here, confirming the addition of the newest Agent Skye, making Icebox a competitive map, plus some major gameplay changes, Agent buffs & nerfs, and more.

1.11’s headline change is of course the new Agent, Skye. Initially planned to release at the start of Act III, Riot added Icebox, the new map, instead, and pushed Skye back to October 27.

For a full breakdown of Skye’s abilities, check out our comprehensive introduction to the new character here. There’s also big news for left-handed players in this update, as the overdue left-handed viewmodel is finally here.

Some gameplay updates feature too, such as no longer adding a death if you die to the Spike, and attackers who lose the round but survive without planting the Spike getting fewer credits. Check out the full patch notes below for details on all the changes.

Valorant 1.11 patch notes

SKYE JOINS THE VALORANT ROSTER!

Skye will be available for use in official esports competition (e.g., First Strike) after two weeks in Competitive queue (November 9, barring any issues).

With First Strike on the horizon, the balance team has been hard at work making our last round of major balance changes before teams start duking it out. We want to ensure that the top teams don’t have to constantly adapt to a changing game while they’re playing in the tournament. Minor balance changes may occur during the span of First Strike, but we won’t deploy changes like the ones in this patch that heavily impact a team’s strategies.

One of the trends we have observed is that attacking teams can have a really hard time breaking entrenched defenders. Although every piece of the game can influence this type of trend (move speed, weapon tuning, map design, Agent balance), we think there are a few targeted character changes that can help give attackers more opportunities to break entrenched defenders. Each is listed below.—Max Grossman, Lead Character Designer

INITIATORS

Flash Tuning: The fade out of the flash debuff remains the same duration but now fades slower at the start

Initiators create concentrated windows of extremely high threat to help their teams break onto sites. To this end, we are slightly increasing the duration of debuffs from some Initiator abilities (mostly flashes). Our goal here is to increase the opportunity window that Initiator’s teammates have to capitalize on their utility and further differentiate Initiators from Duelists.

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BREACH

Full flash time increased from 1.75 >>> 2

SENTINELS

Similar to some of the changes we made with Sage, we want to increase the depth of decision making when playing Sentinels while also providing enemies with more counterplay to “trap” abilities. To reduce the total potential impact of these abilities, autonomous traps are now disabled when the deployer dies (e.g., Cypher’s Trapwire disables when Cypher dies). We want to encourage Sentinel players to play more thoughtfully and carefully around their traps while increasing the reward for taking out the Sentinel player.

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CYPHER

Trapwire

  • Disabled and revealed upon death

Spy Camera

  • Disabled and revealed upon death

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KILLJOY

Killjoy is most effective when locking down a single site. Killjoy has to stay near her Turret and Alarmbot for them to remain active. Her global recon should be hit pretty hard here but we have slightly boosted her stalling power to counterbalance that nerf. All in all, we hope to keep Killjoy in a very similar place power wise but give her a stronger identity as the premiere on-site defender.

Deactivation Range

  • Alarmbot and Turret now deactivate if she is more than 40m away from them—reentering the 40m range reactivates her little friends.

Turret

  • Cooldown after pickup reduced from 20 seconds >>> 10 seconds

Nanoswarm

  • Range at which Nanoswarm can be detected decreased from 5m >>> 3.5m
  • Damage increased from 40/s >>> 45/s
  • Damage now ticks smoother and faster while in Nanoswarm, instead of in chunks of 10 every ¼ of a second

Alarmbot

  • Range at which Alarmbot can be detected decreased from 9m >>> 7m
  • Cooldown after pickup reduced from 20 seconds >>> 7 seconds

COMPETITIVE UPDATES

  • Icebox enters the Competitive map rotation
    • Icebox will be available for use in official esports competition (e.g., First Strike) after four weeks in Competitive queue (November 29, barring any issues)
  • Shorter Unrated queue times for the highest-rank players
    • We’ve taken steps to further solve issues for elite players experiencing long queue times for Unrated. We’re also further investigating improvements to reducing long queue times for all primary modes.
  • Added location of the current gamepod to the loading screen for all modes
  • Adjusted Combat Score to factor in non-damaging assists

GAME MODE UPDATES

  • “Play Out All Rounds” option now available in custom game lobby options,

Play Out All Rounds makes it easier to run practice sessions. When enabled the game will no longer end when a team reaches 13 wins; instead the match will continue until both teams have played a full half of 12 rounds on each side. After 24 rounds the team with more rounds will win. In the case of a tie the game will proceed to overtime (dependent on the Overtime option selected in the lobby screen).

GAMES SYSTEMS

Updates to Economy Ruleset

  • Attackers who lose but survive the entire round without planting the Spike receive a reduced number of credits (1,000)
  • Defenders who lose but survive the entire round after the Spike has detonated also receive reduced credits (1,000)
  • Dying to the Spike will no longer count as a death in KDA statistics
  • Additional economic information added as a tooltip when hovering over the exclamation mark next to “Min Next Round” in the shop
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Context: These changes are intended to increase richness in decision making regarding when it is worthwhile to save your gear vs. go for the round win. Additionally, this will allow teams that can secure round wins to more effectively chip away at the economy of opponents that opt to save out expensive weapons on a round loss.

Other Changes

  • Minor improvements to observer flashed indicator
  • New setting for observers: ‘Show Player Keybinds on Map’
  • New Custom Game Option: ‘Play Out All Rounds’
    • Both teams play a full 12 rounds on both attacker & defender sides, followed by overtime/endgame (if applicable)

QUALITY OF LIFE

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  • Left-handed view model is now available for players. Players can swap their first person view-model to lefthanded by going to the settings menu and swapping their view model to “Left-Handed”. Changing this will also show all other players as left-handed when spectating.
  • You can now send a direct message by clicking a friend’s name in chat instead of having to type their name out
  • Players that have been AFK or alt-tabbed for more than 5 minutes will now appear as ‘Away’ in the Social Panel
  • Adjusted team colors to remain fixed for the full duration of a game for observers instead of having the Attacking side always appear as red, and the defending side always appear as green
    • The experience of having teams switch colors at the half from a viewer perspective was a bit confusing, and also led to some difficulties for broadcasters to match their overlays to this behavior. This change will allow the viewers and tournament organizers to have a more consistent experience for the entirety of a game.
  • [BETA] Experimental Sharpening

This graphics setting accidentally shipped with the last patch, and we were going to remove it, but your feedback asked us to keep it. So It stays, but with some more tuned defaults. We don’t know when we’ll get to optimizing its performance, or tune it further, so consider it an ongoing Beta.

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed one source of combat hitches we’ve seen from player reports
    • We’re continuing to investigate the combat hitches that players have been reporting in recent patches. This patch includes a fix for one of the most common hitches that we’ve seen during combat. While we hope that this will resolve the issue for many of you, we’re still actively tracking down a couple other hitches that we’ve seen from your clips.
  • Jett now can’t rope dash lel
  • Fixed a bug where incoming Party invites would remain active in the Social Panel after being declined
  • Players no longer see the spike location when reconnecting to a game
  • Fixed issue where player corpses could cause collision issues
  • Sage wall segments no longer breaks if a player dies on top of them
  • Fixed a bug that would disable queueing for any mode if a player closed the client during the Match Found countdown.
  • Fixed a bug that was displaying Act Rank badge on the MVP screen outside of Competitive Queue.