Riot explains why each new Valorant agent will “disrupt” the meta - Dexerto

Riot explains why each new Valorant agent will “disrupt” the meta

Published: 20/Aug/2020 1:29

by Andrew Amos


Valorant lead character designer Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott has broken down exactly what Riot wants to achieve from its agents when they launch ⁠— creating meaningful gameplay and “disrupting” the meta.

There’s always a cry from the community about the power of certain characters, even before they were released. In Valorant, there was none louder than with Killjoy. Her turrets caught the ire of the community long before her official announcement.


However, since her release, the turret has been the least of the player’s worries. The rest of her utility has defined her kit as an oppressive zone controller that can capitalize if you fail to flush her out. Her kit has pushed the boundaries of what’s acceptable in a tactical shooter, but Riot are fine with that.

Killjoy turret concept art in Valorant
Riot Games
Killjoy’s turret ended up being the least of players’ problems.

In an August 19 dev video, Valorant lead character designer Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott stated that Riot are looking at constantly pushing the boundaries of what a tactical shooter means. Every new agent is a new chance to experiment.


“We are looking to shake up Valorant with new possibilities in ways that fit the tactical loop of the game,” he said.

Regardless of whether it’s a hard fragger like Reyna, or a more control-based agent like Killjoy, each agent will have an impact on release. This impact is there not to make characters feel overpowered, but to give them a reason to be in the game.

“What we introduce is going to be a bit disruptive. The learning curve of a new agent means that it matters ⁠— it’s meaningful, it’s going to add something to the game. We think that’s a lot better that it might have a learning curve, or it might be frustrating to learn how to play against, than it is when you go ‘why did we even add this thing at all?’”


This philosophy applies from agent conception all the way through to release. Morello explained that each new character needs to not just be the shiny new playtoy, but something that can slot into a unique place in the “competitive ecosystem.”

“It’s not enough to be a piece of cool new content, or fun for the target player. We think the player experience does matter, but the health of the competitive ecosystem matters more. Looking at Killjoy as an example, we wanted to contrast her with other Sentinels, Sage and Cypher namely.

“Killjoy is about hunkering down, fortifying and creating risk within a zone ⁠— and that risk, if not managed correctly, turning into kills for Killjoy. This is a lot different [from Sage and Cypher] ⁠— setting up a turret or a nanoswarm and not being able to capitalize on it doesn’t do a lot. Dealing with two threats at one is how Killjoy accomplishes this defend and convert pattern we want.”


No matter the ability, or the purpose, Riot wants every agent to feel in place in Valorant. While they shouldn’t be must-picks, they need to have an identity that makes them worthwhile in specific situations. Riot wants to constantly enable new ways to play the game, even if this means breaking down the norms of character design.

Reyna in Valorant
Riot Games
Reyna’s “impact” comes in the way of her hard fragging, Riot explained, but she also has good team utility with Leer.

“We want to set our own expectations within our roster and our game, ones that will likely be spicier or feel really inappropriate in another tactical shooter. The tactical loop is our foundation, but it’s the start of the journey, not the end.


“[Abilities] are the things that provide exceptions to the tactical loop, they are things that provide value. We use these things in sparse limited doses, or with strong constraints on them to make sure that when you do them it’s not about being able to do something cool, it’s about allowing new strategies, new opportunities, and new possibilities for the game.


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.