Riot Games break down reasons behind Valorant's Raze nerfs - Dexerto

Riot Games break down reasons behind Valorant’s Raze nerfs

Published: 29/Jun/2020 13:14

by Jacob Hale


Valorant developers Riot Games have provided players with an in-depth breakdown of the reasoning behind Raze’s nerf early in the game’s life-cycle.

When Valorant’s beta phase launched back in April, players immediately called out Raze as an incredibly overpowered character, forcing a nerf from Riot in the 0.47 update.


The nerf was very much welcomed from players, who became somewhat happier with the state of the Agent following the nerf, which provided better audio cues as well as a limitation on her grenades.

Valorant map Split loading screen
Riot Games
Riot Games have been communicating a lot with players to explain the reason behind certain changes or implementations.

For the most part, though, the nerf was explained simply by saying that Riot wanted to make “light changes that should bring Raze’s offensive pressure closer to the other agents.”


Now, though, in a Valorant blog post in which their balancing process is explained with more precision and clarity than ever before, the exact process behind Raze’s nerf has been explained, with six key features and stats that went into the nerf.

The post clearly details Raze’s win percentage in early matches, but also points out that player sentiment played a huge part in their decision to bring the Agents abilities down a peg.

Here’s what they said:

  1. The balance group were aligned that Raze’s kit fits the tac cycle and did not break the loop. She was one of the first kits that this project had designed, and she had helped shape the cycle itself.
  2. She had a high match win rate of ~51% and 53.5% in non-mirrored matches, especially on defense against enemies that were grouped up charging her position. This did not trigger initial alerts set in Closed Beta. Riot quickly realized that power was in the measures of .1%’s rather than 1%’s and tightened the bands accordingly, concluding that Raze was OP.
  3. Player sentiment: Streams, surveys, anecdotes, forums – anything. There was a lot of frustration about being rocketed and naded but they realized that players were not reacting to the audio cues of her abilities and had a hard time understanding what was happening to them outside of the fact that they were now dead.
  4. They did an analysis writeup with the information acquired and proposed some changes:
    1. Having two grenades that she could throw back-to-back created an oppressive scenario for players trying to push into her. Raze players were getting a lot of kills which in turn gave her access to her Ultimate more often.
    2. Players were not reacting to the counterplay cues of her abilities which caused more frustration.
  5. Internal changes and testing.
    1. Grenade charges went from 2 to 1 and became a reset on kill. This change lowered the frequency in which opponents would run into the nades but still give the Raze player the opportunity to continually blow stuff up. It was a great change that fit her core identity – kill them.
    2. The audio attenuation of her Rocket fire and equip were changed drastically to really tell players that they needed to vacate the area.
  6. Added context and changes to patch notes.
    1. They monitored the player’s reaction and sentiment to the patch notes. They liked the direction she was headed but were still skeptical about Raze in general. Her win rate directly took a hit but not by much. The perception was that she was in a much more balanced state.
    2. They followed up in later patches using the direction set in .47+.
valorant agent Raze holding gun
Riot Games
Raze was the first major Agent nerf from Riot Games after Valorant launched.

So, as you can tell, there is a lot more than you might have thought that goes into balancing Valorant Agents, and this here shows just how streamlined and thought-out the process is.

Needless to say, the Raze nerf was celebrated by just about every Valorant player, and showed that the dev team are determined to make the game as fair as possible, as well as listen to what their players want.


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.