Riot exploring new Valorant pause feature in matchmaking, not just customs - Dexerto

Riot exploring new Valorant pause feature in matchmaking, not just customs

Published: 9/Oct/2020 3:03

by Andrew Amos


First there were no pauses. Then Riot finally added one for custom games, which helped tournament organizers immensely. Now though, the Valorant developers are looking at adding pauses in matchmade games.

It’s a meme as old as time: You can’t pause online games. However, in a competitive setting in almost every game, there’s a way to stop the clock ⁠— whether it be for a tactical timeout, a technical issue, or even a toilet break.

Valorant has that in custom games. All you have to do is pause the match timer, and the clock won’t tick down. Players are free to move around in their own spawns, but they can’t do anything they wouldn’t be able to do in a pre-round phase.

Valorant pause settings
Riot Games
You can pause in Valorant custom games, but not in matchmaking.

However, putting it in matchmaking is almost unheard of in any game. In CS:GO, you can do it, but only through special clients like FACEIT or ESEA. They don’t impact your direct in-game rank either, using a separate system to track progress.

Riot is looking at adding pre-round pauses to matchmade games in Unrated and Competitive though, so players can take a timeout to rethink their strategy, top-up their water, or find the toilet.

“To make sure everyone has a chance to handle their business, we’ll be exploring different ways of possibly incorporating a pre-round pause. This would allow you to pause the match without the possibility of impacting the outcome of engagements,” senior producer Steven Eldridge told players in a recent dev post.

Specific details about the pauses are unclear though. It’s unlikely they’ll be indefinite, otherwise, players will be trapped in-game forever. It’s more likely that a pre-round pause will last for an additional 45 seconds to a minute.

Each team will also likely get only one or two pauses in matchmaking to stop people from abusing it. This is all speculation though. What Riot has in store could be drastically different.

One thing is for sure though, mid-round pauses are off the table. Riot has tried looking at ways to implement one, but doing so effectively would come at the risk of competitive integrity, and that’s something they’re not willing to jeopardize.

“Pausing mid-round can introduce a number of gameplay concerns that may compromise the competitive integrity of a match, and since we view the competitive integrity of each match as a fundamental part of Valorant, we’ve opted to not support mid-round pauses,” Eldredge added.

There’s no ETA on when pauses will be added to Valorant matchmaking. However, once ⁠— or if ⁠— they are, be sure to use them effectively!


Pokemon Go: How to defeat Sierra (October 2020)

Published: 28/Oct/2020 23:51

by Paul Cot


Sierra is back, causing trouble in Pokemon Go. You’ll need to go through the formidable Team GO Rocket leader to get your opportunity to catch Shadow Mewtwo. Here are the best counters to combat Sierra’s October 2020 lineup.

Team GO Rocket leaders are difficult to beat and Sierra has been particularly tough historically. Preparation is key if you are to defeat the leaders with relative ease.

Sierra October 2020 counters

Here’s the Pokemon Sierra can send out as part of his October 2020 lineup:

  • 1st Pokemon:
    • Drowzee
  • 2nd Pokemon:
    • Exeggutor
    • Lapras
    • Sharpedo
  • 3rd Pokemon:
    • Alakazam
    • Houndoom
    • Shiftry
Drowzee Sierra
Pokemon Company
Drowzee is Sierra’s lowest rated Pokemon but isn’t a pushover…


Sierra’s first choice Pokemon is guaranteed to be Drowzee. On paper this may look like easy pickings but in the hands of a Team GO Rocket leader it is anything but.

The Hypnosis Pokemon will primarily use psychic-type moves but can use Pound (a normal-type attack) as its Fast Move. All of these are weak against steel.

Drowzee itself is weak against bug, dark and ghost attacks. That means any of Alola Muk, Darkrai, Giratina and Tyranitar should comfortably dispatch of it. Giratina’s Dragon Claw, as long as you’re using Shadow Claw for the Fast Move, will enable you to get Sierra to waste her Protect Shields too.


There’s a one in three chance Sierra’s second choice will be Exeggutor. It is doubly weak to bug attacks, which provides additional incentive to select a Pokemon with bug-type moves for Drowzee as well.

When considering Exeggutor’s move set it uses grass and psychic-type attacks. This makes the absolute best counter for Exeggutor, and an excellent one for Drowzee too for that matter, Scizor.

Its dual bug and steel typing makes it only weak against fire. It also has the bonus of having fast charging Charge Moves. However, it is on the brittle side so don’t expect it to last too long against Sierra’s powerful Shadow ‘mons.

Lapras Sierra
Pokemon Company
Lapras may look friendly but in the hands of Sierra it is super tough…


Lapras has very understated bulk, making it a really tough Pokemon to get past. It may not look incredible on paper but a combination of high stamina and high CP means typing advantage is essential here.

The Transport Pokemon is weak against electric, fighting, grass, and rock. Unfortunately, grass-type counters are all but ruled out due to Lapras’ ice moves. Grass is weak to ice and in the case of Torterra, doubly so. The same can be said for rock-type counters Golem and Rhyperior, ruling them out too.

That brings us to electric. The likes of Zekrom, Zapdos, Electivire and Jolteon are ideally positioned but too weak. Magnezone is the only electric-type that really stands up to Lapras’ power.

Melmetal is another option, and a good one at that, due to its typing (steel) and moveset. It will resist ice attacks and remains indifferent to the preferred water attacks. If you have the Hex Nut Pokemon it will have Thunder Shock as a Fast Move which is perfect.

Elsewhere, there is Dialga, which is seemingly strong against everything (which isn’t far from the truth). You may also be lucky enough to have one that uses Thunder.

Finally, fighting-types can also work here. Lucario will get the job done but beware of its fragility, it will accrue damage a little too easily.


Sharpedo is another Pokemon Scizor that is effective against. It is neutral to dark and water attacks Sharpedo uses. Make sure it is utilizing its bug attacks, though.

While Scizor overlaps with Drowzee and Exeggutor, Lucario overlaps with Lapras and Sharpedo because of its resistance to dark-type moves. The same applies to Machamp.

Elsewhere, being a water-type Pokemon it is weak to electric types such as Raikou and Zapdos will also work. Then there are the formidable fairy-type options. Clefable, Togekiss, and Wigglytuff all provide that favorable typing and bulk. If Sharpedo uses dark moves then it stands no chance against any of them.


The following are Sierra’s potential third choice Pokemon. Alakazam will use a psychic-type Fast Move making a dark-type ‘mon the perfect foil for it. It only receives 51% of the damage.

Its Charge Moves are more unpredictable and if it uses the powerful Focus Blast you could be in trouble should you not shield. However, if you have those Protect Shields saved, a good dark-type Pokemon will make easy work of it.

Naturally, dark-types don’t come any better than Darkrai. Another option is Tyranitar which utilizes Bite and Crunch.

Alternative choices include Hydreigon and Metagross. The best of all though is maybe Houndoom with its Snarl and Dark Pulse combination. There are plenty of choices when it comes to taking on Alakazam.


Houndoom has an obvious weakness in water. However, water-types don’t cover themselves in glory when it comes to Sierra’s other selections.

Fighting types are one way to get through Houndoom but you’ll need it to be fresh which is no guarantee. If you are going down this route then the obvious candidates are Lucario and Machamp. Rhyperior and Terrakion will also work as rock-types but again, don’t match well elsewhere.

Therefore, it may be better to prepare accordingly for Sierra’s other choices and beat Houndoom by brute force. Maybe one of those species you have to hope to beat by brute force rather than having a dedicated counter. One of the aforementioned bulky fairy Pokemon may just do the job because of how well rounded they are.


Bug and fairy attacks are Shiftry’s most accessible weaknesses, at least in terms of Sierra’s other choices.

Scizor is once again a prime candidate due to Shiftry’s double weakness to bug. At this point it is a must-have for defeating the Team GO Rocket leader. Other bug options include Volcarona and Yanmega.

Should you not have a suitable bug-type at your disposal then versatile fairy-types should also work here. Ideally, that fairy Pokemon would be Togekiss which seems to work well against everything. Ho-Oh is more of a left-field choice but only works for Shiftry so it is a risk.

Looking at Sierra as a whole, Scizor is the key. Combine this with a strong fairy-type, a Darkrai or Giratina for balance, a fighting-type and the battle should be a lot easier than many trainers are finding it.