100 Thieves star Spencer ‘Hiko’ Martin is fed up with the state of ranked play in Valorant, lashing out at the competitive system in a new rant after calling every game a “coin flip.”
Is Valorant’s ranking system in a rough spot? Counter-Strike veteran turned First Strike champion Hiko certainly thinks so. On the back of a string of losses during a recent Twitch stream, the popular player erupted in a near 10-minute rant, outlining all of his biggest gripes with the game today.
“The ranked system is just trash,” he said in a rare moment of frustration. “I’m over it.” The main factor leading to this outburst was lopsided matchmaking. After being lumped with “teammates who don’t know how to play,” Hiko stressed how that’s the case more often than not.
There’s simply “never a close game” among the higher ranks in Valorant, according to the pro. “Every game it’s a coin flip if your team is good or your team is bad. There’s almost never games where it’s close.”
While he’s already accomplished major feats in the competitive space, taking out North America’s first notable championship, playing Valorant outside of scrims remains “terrible” in his eyes.
“The problem I have is when somebody looks boosted.”
Despite being matched with others close to his rank, a majority of Hiko’s teammates aren’t quite playing to their supposed level. “They don’t know how to use their abilities, their crosshair placement, they’re literally just baiting. That’s the problem.
“If you’re missing your shots, ok. If you go 3-15, ok. You’re not gonna roast someone for missing shots, everyone misses shots. But it’s the problem where people look lost. It’s very obvious and easy to tell when that is.”
Such players with limited “game sense” don’t deserve to be representing Valorant’s highest ranks, according to Hiko. “They shouldn’t be in Immortal or Radiant [while] trying to learn. It’s just not fun.”
In terms of how Riot Games can go about improving the ranked experience, Hiko’s top request is for games to be more balanced. “Being on a team that’s stomping isn’t fun,” he said. “Being on a team that’s getting stomped is even less fun.”
— 100T Hiko (@Hiko) May 14, 2021
The most enjoyable games are when you’re matched with “evenly skilled players,” Hiko added. When teams are competitive on both sides, the ‘coin flip’ analogy fades away as team strategy and individual skill rise to the surface.
Fortunately, it appears Riot listened loud and clear: a May 14 update targeted new improvements for the competitive experience.
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While players may see “a slight increase to queue times,” matchmaking should be tighter across the board. Perhaps this surprise tweak will be enough to fix Hiko’s biggest issues with the game.