Riot Games announce Valorant: "Project A" trailer, gameplay, characters - Dexerto
Valorant

Riot Games announce Valorant: “Project A” trailer, gameplay, characters

Published: 2/Mar/2020 7:53 Updated: 3/Mar/2020 13:18

by Scott Robertson

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After plenty of rumors, speculation, and leaks, Riot Games have officially unveiled the name of their first-ever shooter, and first-ever game outside of the League of Legends universe, Valorant. Here are all the details about the announcement.

A community of fans has already been growing for the upcoming FPS title, and that community has been impatiently waiting for this March 2nd date. A number of leaks had posted online by esports journalist, Slasher, however until March 2, nothing was official.

At last, they’ve been rewarded with a first look at live gameplay from the official Valorant account, with the game expected to be released in Summer 2020.

What is Valorant?

Riot Games
Valorant is coming in Summer 2020.

Valorant is Riot Games’ first foray into the FPS genre, with a character shooter that focuses on gunplay first, while character abilities have been said will be used tactically in a supplementary role to shooting.

The official Valorant website describes the game “tactical shooter meets hypernatural powers.”

“Everyone’s got guns and a unique set of abilities, so how do you beat someone with the speed of wind? Use your own moves to outplay them and beat them to the shot.

“Valorant is a game for bold strategists who dare to make the unexpected play, because if it wins, it works.”

Riot Games’ CEO Nicolo Laurent explained the contrast between Valorant and games like Overwatch back when the game was first announced, as Project A during the League 10 celebration.

“In Project A [Valorant’s code name], shooting matters,” he said. “You don’t kill with abilities. Abilities create tactical opportunities to take the right show.”

Similarly to Overwatch, each hero character will have a small handful of rechargeable abilities, with a single ultimate that takes longer to charge. However, players will have to purchase their abilities at the start of each round, utilizing an in-game economy similar to CS:GO’s.

Popular Counter-Strike analyst and caster Henry ‘HenryG’ Greer said that “all classes have access to the same generic weaponry via an economy CSGO fans wouldn’t find too difficult to adjust to.” He also said that map design is similarly “Counter-Strike-esque.”

YouTube: Valorant
Valorant’s in-game economy and gun buy menu works similarly to CS:GO’s.

When will Valorant be released?

Valorant is expected to go live in Summer 2020, but whether this is a beta date or a full release date is unclear.

Slasher reported that Riot will be flying in numerous pro players from titles like CS:GO, Fortnite, Overwatch, LoL, and more in mid-March to take an extended look at the game.

Will Valorant be free-to-play?

The good news for anyone interested in the game is that Riot is intent on following the same release methods they have for their other blockbuster titles, with Valorant releasing as free-to-play in Summer 2020.

Players will likely be able to purchase skins and costumes through an in-game store, but this has yet to be confirmed by the developers.

What characters will be playable in Valorant?

Valorant is set in a completely different universe to League of Legends, so fans of Riot’s other games shouldn’t expect any crossover between the FPS title and other franchises.

Instead, a fresh cast, set on Earth, will be taking aim. Each character has a set of four abilities, including a Signature Ability and an Ultimate. Eight characters were revealed in Riot’s official announcement on March 2.

Phoenix

Phoenix’s star power shines through in his fighting style, igniting the battlefield with flash and flare. Whether he’s got backup or not, he’s rushing in to fight on his own terms.

  • Hot Hands – Throw a fireball that explodes after a delay or upon impact with the ground. The fire zone damages enemies, and heals you.
  • Blaze – Cast out a flame wall that blocks vision and damages anyone passing through it. You can bend the wall when casting by turning while holding left click.
  • Signature Ability: Curveball– Cast a curving flare that bursts into brilliant light after a brief delay, temporarily blinding all looking at it. Left click curves it left, right click curves it right.
  • Ultimate Ability: Run it Back – Mark your current location. If you die during this ability’s duration, or when this ability’s duration expires, you’ll be reborn at the marked location with full health.

Jett

Jett’s agile and evasive fighting style lets her take risks no one else can. She runs circles around every skirmish, cutting enemies up before they even know what hit them.

  • Cloudburst – Throw out a cloud of fog that obscures vision on impact. Hold down the ability button to bend the cloud’s in-flight trajectory.
  • Updraft – After a brief wind up, propel yourself upwards.
  • Signature Ability: Tailwind – Immediately dash a short distance in the direction you’re moving.
  • Ultimate: Blade Storm – Arm yourself with several deadly throwing knives that deal moderate damage and kill on headshots. Scoring a kill restores all daggers. Left click throws a single dagger. Right click throws all remaining daggers in a short-ranged burst.

Viper

Viper deploys an array of poisonous chemical devices to control the battlefield and cripple the enemy’s vision. If the toxins don’t kill her prey, her mind games surely will.

  • Snakebite – Fire a projectile that explodes into a pool of damaging acid.
  • Poison Cloud – Throw a gas emitter that you can reactivate to create a poisonous smoke cloud at the cost of fuel. The emitter can be picked up and thrown again after a short cooldown.
  • Signature Ability: Toxic Screen – Deploy a long line of gas emitters that you can reactivate to create a tall wall of toxic gas at the cost of fuel.
  • Ultimate: Viper’s Pit – Emit a massive toxic cloud in a large area that lasts as long as Viper stays inside the cloud. Enemies inside the cloud are highlighted to Viper.
Sova concept art in Valorant
Riot Games
Sova aims to track enemies down with drones and sonar pings.

Sova

Sova tracks, finds, and eliminates enemies with ruthless efficiency and precision. His custom bow and incredible scouting abilities ensure that even if you run, you cannot hide.

  • Shock Bolt – Fire an explosive bolt that emits a damaging pulse of static energy upon impact.
  • Owl Drone – Deploy a pilotable drone that can fire a dart that will Reveal enemies who are hit.
  • Signature Ability: Recon Bolt – Fire a bolt that deploys a sonar emitter. The sonar pings tag nearby enemies, causing them to be revealed. Can be destroyed.
  • Ultimate: Hunter’s Fury – Fire up to three deadly energy blasts that spear across the entire map. Each hit enemy takes heavy damage and is marked.

Cypher

Cypher is a one-man surveillance network who keeps tabs on the enemy’s every move. No secret is safe. No maneuver goes unseen. Cypher is always watching.

  • Free Ability: Trapwire – Place a stealthed tripwire between two walls. Triggering enemies are restrained and revealed for a short time. If the trap is not destroyed, it activates to daze the trapped victim. Can be picked up.
  • Cyber Cage – Toss out a remote activation trap. Reactivate to create a cage that slows enemies who pass through it. Look at a trap and press USE to detonate it, or hold ACTIVATE to detonate all.
  • Signature Ability: Spycam – Place a remote camera. After placing, reactivate to view the video feed. Left click while in camera to fire a tracking dart. Recharges when picked up or killed.
  • Ultimate: Neural Theft – Extract information from the corpse of an enemy, revealing the location of their living allies.

Brimstone

Brimstone’s orbital arsenal ensures his squad always has the advantage. His ability to deliver utility precisely and safely make him the unmatched boots-on-the-ground commander.

  • Incindiary – Launch an incendiary grenade that deploys a damaging field of fire.
  • Stim Beacon – Target a nearby location to call in a Stim Beacon, giving all players near it Rapidfire.
  • Signature Ability: Sky Smoke – Use your map to call in orbital deployment smokescreens that obscure vision. Click to set the locations, and confirm to launch.
  • Ultimate: Orbital Strike – Use your map to target a location, launching a devastating orbital strike that pulses for high damage over several seconds.
Riot Games
Sage looks similar to Overwatch’s Moira.

Sage

Sage creates safety for herself and her team wherever she goes. Able to revive fallen friends and stave off forceful assaults, she provides a calm center to a hellish battlefield.

  • Slow Orb – Cast out a radianite orb that breaks into a slowing field upon impact with the ground. All caught in the field are slowed, grounded, and make noise when moving.
  • Barrier Orb – Conjure a large, solid wall. Right-click to rotate the wall before casting.
  • Signature Ability: Healing Orb – Heal an ally or yourself to full health over a few seconds.
  • Ultimate: Resurrection – Target a friendly corpse. After a short delay, revive them with full health.

Omen

Omen hunts in the shadows. He renders enemies blind, teleports across the field, then lets paranoia take hold as foes scramble to uncover where it might strike next.

  • Paranoia – Send out an Ethereal shadow in a straight line, Nearsighting anyone it touches.
  • Shadow Walk – After a delay, dematerialize and teleport a short distance.
  • Signature Ability: Dark Cover – Cast out a stealthed ethereal orb that bursts into an obscuring sphere of shadow at its final location. Can be charged to increase distance.
  • Ultimate: From the Shadows – Select anywhere on the map to teleport and reform. When arriving, appear as a Shade, that will go back to your original location if killed. Once the teleport is complete, become Incorporeal for a short time.

Additional reporting by Dexerto’s Andrew Amos

Valorant

10 players to watch during Valorant’s First Strike Global Finals

Published: 26/Nov/2020 16:58

by Lauren Bergin

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With the Valorant First Strike qualifiers coming to a close all across the globe, some players have risen to the top of the pack — but who are they? 

It’s safe to say that Riot Games’ first global tournament, First Strike, has left its mark in FPS history. There’s been upsets, shocking results and, of course, some absolutely wild plays. Some of the top tier teams fell at the final hurdle, and others powered up by friendship have emerged triumphant.

One of the positives about having the tournament be played online is that it lets smaller teams shine, highlighting players who maybe never would have made it onto the big stage.

Every region is going to see some fierce competition for their regional title, and it’s going to be exciting to watch who prevails and who falters. Below is our list of players who can shift the First Strike tides, so let’s dive right in.

European players to watch

Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom (Team Liquid)

When Team Liquid picked up former CS:GO pro ScreaM, Valorant fans were beyond excited, and for good reason. Renowned for being the “headshot machine” of CS:GO, it was pretty obvious that ScreaM joining the Valorant scene heralded even more head-popping chaos.

From start to finish ScreaM has dominated the First Strike qualifiers on his signature Jett, scoring an ace against Prodigy Esports that will go down in Valorant history as one of the cleanest. Are you ready to scream for Liquid? Well, get ready to watch the man himself obliterate the competition in the First Strike Regional Finals.

Ardis ‘ardiis’ Svarenieks (G2 Esports)

One of the most formidable players on this list is Ardiis, G2 Esports’ sniper extraordinaire. With a KD of 1.24 and a whole host of Agents available in his pool, Ardiis has quite rightly been dubbed by many casters, analysts, and other professionals as one of the game’s best players.

He’s proven that his skill matches up to the hype. One of the key carries in G2’s series against Ninjas in Pyjamas, Ardiis’ Sova was a force to be reckoned with. Sneaking behind enemy lines, shooting out devastating shock darts left, right and center, G2 couldn’t have done it without him. It’ll be interesting to see how he steps up in the regional final, especially when the title of First Strike Europe champion is on the line.

Pontus ‘Zyppan’ Eek (FPX)

When FunPlus Phoenix entered the Valorant scene we knew the sparks would fly, but we never knew that Zyppan would be the reason. The ex-Fortnite player’s Raze has become a true force on Future Earth, demolishing every team he’s been put up against.

With a KD of 1.32, his aggressive style is one we’d love to see more of in Valorant. His performance against The Opportunists is the perfect example of why he’s on such a highly respected roster, and it’ll be exciting to see how he shapes up against Ardiis and FunPlus’ arch nemesis, G2.

Domagoj ‘doma’ Fancev (SUMN FC)

SUMN FC aren’t a team that many people expected to be playing with the big guns, but doma is one of the reasons that the team are up there. The young Croatian has led SUMN to countless victories in past tournaments, with his Raze plays being explosive as the agent herself.

Doma has become one of the team’s most dominant forces, scoring headshot after headshot against eXiLe eSports in their qualifying match. Will he be able to outwit foes such as ScreaM and Zyppan? Maybe so, but what’s for sure is that he’s going to give them a fight to remember.

North American players to watch

Jake ‘kaboose’ McDonald (Team Envy)

Kaboose might not get as much recognition on Envy as his teammates like FNS, Crashies, and food, but he’s proven to be the player this roster needs to fly right to the top. The duelist specialist was the star of the Envy lineup that ended up winning the First Strike NA NSG Qualifier, topping the Average Combat Score (ACS) charts and styling on the likes of T1 and 100 Thieves.

While he was a CS:GO veteran of five years, he never really got his chance in the spotlight while playing in MDL. Now, in Valorant First Strike, he really has the chance to get the breakout he’s been grinding for years.

Quan ‘dicey’ Tran (100 Thieves)

If there was any doubts about Dicey’s skill before he joined 100 Thieves, they’ve surely been silenced by now. The young star is on the rise in Valorant, spearheading an incredibly talented and experienced roster. He might not have the name value of his teammates like Hiko and nitr0, but give him six months and he will.

His Jett put Wardell to shame in the NSG Qualifier for First Strike, but he’s also shown he can pick up other roles like Sova as well while on Prospects. He also has the brain to match the aim: one can’t forget his insane 1v4 ace against Sentinels on Bind back in Pop Flash. Now in his biggest competition yet, Dicey really has the chance to cement himself as a household name in Valorant.

Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won (Sentinels)

Sinatraa has a real chance to become an undisputed GOAT in two titles. The Overwatch League MVP has made a splash in Valorant with Sentinels, and is widely considered to be the best player in NA. His ability to flex between Agents is testament to his versatility. Across just two series against 100 Thieves and T1 in the NSG Qualifier, he played four Agents in Raze, Sova, Jett, and Phoenix.

His uncanny ability to top the score charts, all while playing a more supportive role on Sova (most of the time) is incredible. There was a reason why he’s considered one of the best Overwatch players of all time, and now he’s living up to that GOAT title in Valorant.

Noah ‘jcStani’ Smith (Immortals)

Immortals have been through a lot of changes, but jcStani has been a rock for the squad. He’s filled in every possible role no matter who leaves, and although he more often than not finds himself on support, he still manages to frag out like a duelist.

jcStani’s leadership of the Immortals roster that has been in flux, even during First Strike with ShoT_Up’s illness, has steered them to where they are today. Now with things starting to stabilize, it’s only a matter of time until the best of Immortals and jcStani really gets to shine.

Notable mentions

Goo ‘Rb’ Sang-min (Vision Strikers)

Rb is probably the best Valorant player you’ve never heard of. The Vision Strikers star is the King of Korean Valorant. There’s a reason why his team are on an undefeated 43-0 streak, and a lot of it has to do with Rb. His incredible fragging ability allows his squad to execute the most well-coordinated strats seen across the globe.

Rb boasts a career ACS of 245. To put that in perspective, Sinatraa has a career ACS of 241, Ardiis has 245, and the only player who really beats him is ScreaM on 258. The level of competition in Korea is fierce as well between T1 Korea, C9 Korea, and more, but Rb manages to consistently come out on top on Jett, making him one of the most exciting prospects once international play gets going.

Chris ‘pl1xx’ Li (EXO Clan)

To round out our list, it’s time to take a trip down under to chat about EXO Clan’s pl1xx. Is there anything pl1xx can’t play? Probably not. He is an incredibly flexible player for Oceania’s number one team, and while he calls himself a Sova main, he can basically play anything his team needs, including Reyna and Raze.

A once-budding Counter-Strike prodigy, the Australian has found himself a new home in Valorant. Widely touted as Oceania’s best player – with maybe a bit of debate between his teammates – pl1xx’s flexibility and keen aim makes him one of the most versatile players not just in his home region, but across the globe.

So that’s it for our list of players to watch going into the global First Strike finals. There are a hundred different ways this list could have went, but these players are certainly standouts and we can wait to see how they perform.