Riot explains why Sage nerfs will make space for future Valorant Agents - Dexerto

Riot explains why Sage nerfs will make space for future Valorant Agents

Published: 2/Sep/2020 8:57 Updated: 2/Sep/2020 10:17

by Andrew Amos


Sage has been Valorant’s most problematic Agent. The Sentinel healer has been touted as the game’s most overpowered Agent, with insane healing and zone control. Riot gutted her in Patch 1.07, but there’s a good reason ⁠— they want more “restorative” Agents like her.

Sage’s nerfs on Valorant Patch 1.07 hit the Sentinel hard. They targeted her Heal, Slow Orb, and Barrier Orb wall, reducing her zone control power and her healing. Riot tried to tone down her power in the past, but this measure has all but killed Sage.


The nerfs were well received by the community, even if they were heavy-handed. The reduced heals meant Sage couldn’t just out-heal a Phoenix or Reyna ⁠— Duelists with healing intertwined in their kit. She can’t control post-plants and defense holds as well with the wall HP reduction.

She was meant to be a defender, but she ended up being the best on both sides, according to developer ‘rycoux’. It was, at the end of the day, stunting Riot’s plans for Valorant’s future.


“Sage had the highest win rate on attacker [side] and only recently has seen a drop but is still in the top 3 of attackers across the roster. She has been on our radar for a long time, now, and we have been very concerned about her game health,” he said in a September 1 Reddit post.

While they’ve made Sage a less of a jack-of-all-trades, it opens up the opportunities for more Agents to not only see play, but be developed. In fact, the Sage nerfs ⁠— which will hopefully bring down her play rate ⁠— will open up the window for new healing Agents to be added.

“Sage healing for 100 up to 3 times a round felt like it was going to start to crowd out future restoration characters and even duelists as she could self heal for 100. Sage, as a restoration character, should want to be healing others, while duelists should feel unique in being able to heal themselves to get back into combat.”


“Where it currently stands, Sage’s heal is a comparable and more reliable self-heal than Reyna and Phoenix, which should not be the case.”


The nerfs help this goal of potentially adding new “restoration” characters two-fold. It forces self-healing to be a key part of Agent kits. If they have self-healing, like Reyna and Phoenix, they should use that before coming to a Sage. If they don’t have self-healing, they shouldn’t be able to brush it off like nothing ever happened.


It also frees up the space for Riot to potentially develop another team healer down the line. They could have a different subset of utility to Sage to enable a different style of gameplay. The two could then co-exist together, as long as it’s not overbearing.

However, Riot is keeping an eye on Sage. They want her to be “one of the more [mechanically] forgiving characters.” If she plummets into obscurity after Patch 1.07, Riot will give her a leg up on the next update.


“There’s a chance we have hit Sage a bit hard so we will be keeping an eye on Sage for the next few patches. If we hit Sage too hard, trust that we will be working hard to ensure she finds the right tunings and finds the right balance on the roster.”


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.