How Riot can solve Valorant’s queue-dodging crisis

Declan Mclaughlin

Valorant seemingly has a crisis around players leaving agent select or queue dodging, and there are a few different solutions Riot Games should try.

Players leaving matches right before they start is nothing new in the world of gaming. Some multiplayer games even start matches with one team down a player and will try to connect a new teammate during the action.

However, tactical multiplayer games that require a specific amount of commitment to a match, like Dota, Counter-Strike, or League of Legends, do not have that same luxury. If a player leaves before the match starts, the game is automatically canceled, and if a teammate leaves during the action, one team usually ends up surrendering.

The same is true for Valorant. However, the Riot Games FPS seems to be in the middle of an epidemic, with players leaving matches left and right before some have even locked in an agent.

Valorant players queuing for a Competitive match.

One player shared his experience on Reddit, asking why he could only find games on Icebox and Abyss while every other map results in a dodged game.

“They put Haven back into rotation and I’d really enjoy playing it again if you f****** would let me play anything but the same two f***ing maps, please,” the user said.

The thread was then flooded with replies from users detailing which maps they consider dodging and asking Riot to institute mechanics from Counter-Strike 2.

In the Valve FPS, players vote ahead of the match on which map they would like to play on instead of loading into a lobby with a random map selected. Also, in CS2, players can choose the maps they wish to play before searching for a match.

While those mechanics could mitigate many reasons players quit in agent select, two other simple methods could also be implemented.

The first method is a confirmation button similar to League of Legends. Players must prove they are still at their computer ready to play before they can even hop into the lobby.

This pop-up confirmation button could also include the map that the lobby will play in, which would let players decide to decline the match before going through the trouble of loading into agent select.

The second method involves harsher penalties for players who consistently leave queue dodge. The penalty for repeated dodging is already pretty high, with a suspension that gets longer for each infraction.

However, Riot could go even further.

If a player has shown a propensity to dodge a certain map no matter what, then they should stop with the suspensions and only give them that map for their remaining matches. Instead of letting the player off the hook and slapping them on the wrist, Riot should force them to play the map.

While the logistics around this might be improbable, it would force players out of their comfort zones and allow them to play maps like Icebox for a change.

The Valorant devs probably have larger fish to fry before dealing with this issue, like player toxicity. However, there seem to be many practical and easy solutions to this annoying problem that Riot could implement as soon as the next patch.