Riot admits Sage "out of control" and will be nerfed next Valorant patch - Dexerto

Riot admits Sage “out of control” and will be nerfed next Valorant patch

Published: 16/Jul/2020 4:49

by Andrew Amos


Sage has been one of, if not the most powerful Agent in Valorant ever since the game’s release. Despite Riot’s attempts to nerf her previously, the developers have admitted she’s “out of control,” and is in need of more changes in the next patch.

If you aren’t picking Sage, you’re doing something wrong in Valorant. That’s been the community consensus since the game’s launch.


The Sentinel Healer provides an immense amount of utility ⁠— through her heals to other Agents, walls that take dozens of bullets to take down, incredible slows, and the ability to resurrect an ally and create a 6v5 scenario.

Sage in Valorant
Riot Games
Sage is the number one pick in Valorant right now.

All this and more has made Sage a must pick at all elos, and in all situations. She has the largest pick rate out of all Agents according to, with her being picked by 20% of players ⁠— making for a practical 100% pick rate.


Previous nerfs haven’t hit her hard enough to force her out of the meta, so Riot are changing tact. They know Sage is “out of control,” and they are planning on smashing her.

“Sage needs pretty big work,” Valorant character design lead Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott admitted. “Sage still is really out of control, and we don’t think it’s the healing.”

Morello did say that while they are looking at all possibilities, they are wary of the fact that nerfing Sage too hard will be problematic too.


“I think we’re going to have to get a little bit creative. There’s some point where you just neuter her to where she’s not fun to play at all, and she’s already a character that can risk being too flat,” he added.

Despite that, Riot still want to be “extreme” with the nerfs. He admitted that it was ‘unhealthy’ for Valorant to have an Agent as strong as Sage, and that if they overnerf her, they can always compensate with buffs.


“We have to be a little bit extreme on how we hit her because the problem might be a lot more extreme than we originally thought,” he stated.

Sage’s slow radius and amount could be up on the chopping block. While Sage’s wall was nerfed most recently, a possible health nerf on it could also be on the cards. Optionally, Riot could even gate Sage’s ultimate behind an even bigger eight or nine-point cost.


Morello didn’t expand on exactly what will be nerfed, but he did say that Riot were working overtime to try and get something done as soon as possible. This means we could see more Sage nerfs as soon as Patch 1.04, due on July 21.

If you’re a Sage one-trick, it might be worth finding a new Agent to master, because it’s very likely she will be dashed out of the meta in the coming weeks.


Valorant First Strike Europe qualifiers: Schedule, eligibility, format

Published: 7/Oct/2020 17:06

by Jacob Hale


Valorant developers Riot Games have announced First Strike: Europe, the first-ever Valorant tournament wholly produced by Riot, set to kick off in November with some of the region’s best talent.

Since Valorant launched in June, it has become one of the most exciting games in esports, with players from all different titles migrating to Riot’s first-ever FPS. Some of the biggest competitors from the likes of Overwatch, CSGO and more are looking to make a name for themselves in the new shooter.


As a result, we’ve already seen some incredible talent, tense moments and top performances in a competitive setting, but now it’s becoming a little more official with the announcement of this highly-anticipated tournament.

So, with First Strike: Europe around the corner, here’s everything you need to know to tune in to the tournament, and even get involved yourself.

Valorant First Strike art
Riot Games
First Strike is the first Valorant tournament organized entirely by developer Riot Games.

Valorant First Strike: Europe schedule

Open qualifiers for First Strike take place from November 9-22, giving teams around two weeks to stave off the best competition in the region and qualify for the main event.

The schedule for Open Qualifiers will be as follows:

  • Week 1
    • November 9-10: Qualifier A
    • November 11-12: Qualifier B
    • November 13: Play-In #1
    • November 14-15: Playoffs
  • Week 2
    • November 16-17: Qualifier C
    • November 18-19: Qualifier D
    • November 20: Play-In #2
    • November 21-22: Playoffs
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule.

After qualifiers have concluded, the main stage will be held from December 3-6. Here are the dates for each part of the main event:

  • December 3-4: Quarterfinals
  • December 5: Semifinals
  • December 6: Final
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule.

Eligibility for Valorant First Strike: Europe

As the name suggests, the Open Qualifiers for the tournament are open to (almost) anybody. You don’t have to be a pro player to sign up, but you have to be over the age of 16 and you will need to reach the rank of Immortal 1 by the time you register.

Riot haven’t specified how people can apply and register for the tournament yet, but advise in their announcement that full rules for the event and how to apply will be available in the coming weeks — and we’ll be sure to update this page as soon as we know.

Valorant First Strike: Europe tournament format

Valorant Icebox act 3 new map
Riot Games
Will we see much of new Act III map Icebox in the First Strike tournament?

The tournament format is fairly simple to follow throughout, from the qualifiers right up to the main event. Here’s how the single-elimination tournament works:

  • Qualifiers and Play-Ins: Best of 1
  • Playoffs: Best of 3
  • Quarterfinals and semifinals: Best of 3
  • Finals: Best of 5

With best of 1s in qualifiers and play-ins we might see some upsets, but finishing the tournament on a best of 5 means we really will see the two best teams in Europe fight it out and showcase their talent across all maps, proving how much they’ve mastered the game so far.

With G2 Esports undoubtedly the strongest team in the region since competition started, the main question now is whether they can prove it in Valorant’s biggest tournament yet.