Riot explain why Valorant won’t be getting Agent & map bans for now

Published: 3/Jul/2020 2:54

by Andrew Amos


Will Valorant be getting Agent & map bans? Not for the foreseeable future, with Riot ruling out the possibility on July 2, saying that without them “the game state is healthier.”

Agent and map bans have been a contentious point of discussion in the Valorant community. With only 11 Agents to choose from right now, and four maps, there’s little room to fit a proper drafting system.

However, as the game expands, and the system becomes more complicated, things might change. The devs have been quizzed on this numerous times, notwithstanding a July 2 dev post asking the same question ⁠— “Will there be a pick and ban system with Agents and maps?”

Raze in Valorant
Riot Games
Agent bans have been leveled as a possible counter to broken characters.

Riot has knocked back both suggestions for now though. “We’ve considered a draft phase for Agents, but the current thinking is that we would not have bans,” said Senior Game Designer Trevor Romleski.

Romleski outlined Riot wants players to express themselves in different ways, especially during the early days of Valorant. This skill expression, and testing with certain Agents, would be lost if bans were implemented.

“We expect teams to have set plays and strategies that will require very specific Agents. Banning an Agent would invalidate that entire strategy, and we don’t want to discourage practice.

“Bans often remove a players’ star Agent and we want players who are exceptional at certain Agents to be able to play them and show off their skills with them,” he added.

He also stated the devs want to take a different approach to Agent balance, rather than giving players the tools to take them out of every game. Instead of forcing players to ban overpowered Agents, they will be constantly monitoring how each agent is shaping up.

“Because Valorant doesn’t have hard counters in the form of Agents, we think the game state is healthier if we’re held accountable to ensuring no Agent or Agent-facilitated strategy becomes so oppressive or unsolvable that a ban is the only choice,” he stated.

While he didn’t touch on map bans in the question, it seems like for now, there won’t be any in-client support for changing what maps you can queue up for. This might change in the future, however.

Similar systems have been implemented in rival titles to Valorant. Overwatch’s hero pools and ban system looked to curb some of the game’s balance issues, but only seemed to exacerbate them.

Map-wise, CS:GO players can choose what maps they’d like to queue for when they line up for Competitive games. Rainbow Six: Siege is also implementing a map ban system later in 2020.


Riot criticized for picking Ninja & Myth as “exclusive” Valorant co-streamers

Published: 1/Dec/2020 13:52 Updated: 1/Dec/2020 14:51

by Lauren Bergin


Valorant First Strike NA has become one of the fiercest competitions that we’ve seen in Future Earth’s short history. Valorant fans, however, aren’t pleased that Ninja and TSM Myth will be the only two streamers allowed to stream the tournament.

Valorant’s First Strike NA tournament has been one of the most hotly contested of the game’s global tournaments. There’s been upsets, crazy plays and a whole host of amazing competitive Valorant play for fans to sink their teeth into.

With the final leg of the NA tournament on the horizon, Riot Games have decided to grant exclusive co-streamer status to only two lucky personalities: Tyler ‘Ninja’ Bevins and Ali ‘Myth’ Kabbani of TSM.

The announcement has fallen slightly flat, however, and fans aren’t particularly thrilled over Riot’s choice of streamers.

Valorant First Strike header
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike has been the biggest Valorant event to date.

Ninja & Myth are First Strike co-streamers

Riot Games announced on November 30 that Twitch goliaths Ninja and TSM Myth would be “exclusive co-streamers” of the First Strike: NA main event.

The news of an ‘exclusive’ co-streaming deal with the two content creators left a lot of fans and fellow streamers somewhat unpleased. It led to a plethora of Tweets and Reddit threads dedicated to discussion around whether or not it’s fair to grant exclusivity to these two personalities.

Fans hit back

The main element of this situation that has left fans disgruntled is the idea of Ninja and Myth being granted exclusivity to the First Strike stream. This means that any other streamers who planned on streaming the event won’t be able to.

Twitch streamer mOE responded with surprise that other streamers wouldn’t be able to stream the event:

A Tweet from another fan called for the inclusion of the Overwatch League’s Josh ‘Sideshow’ Wilkinson to the lineup. The caster hosts a weekly podcast called Plat Chat on YouTube, which is entirely dedicated to Valorant. He also streams frequently, so it would make a lot of sense to include him in the exclusive co-streamer list:

Some fans were so unimpressed that they took their concerns to Reddit, where a lengthy post on the ValorantCompetitive subreddit sees fans express their disappointment.

The thread, started by u/AnOldMonkOnDMT, notes that Ninja’s ‘polarizing personality’ coupled with TSM Myth’s ‘preference for TSM’ makes the idea of watching their co-streams unappealing.

Exclusive Co Streams for First Strike NA from r/ValorantCompetitive

The comments echo this:

Dexerto has reached out to Riot Games for comment.

Typically, esports tournaments will prevent streamers from ‘co-streaming’ to avoid diverting viewership from the official broadcast.