Riot Games explain why Valorant's Sage will be nerfed - Dexerto

Riot Games explain why Sage needs a nerf in Valorant

Published: 19/Jul/2020 10:57 Updated: 19/Jul/2020 10:59

by Andy Williams


Sage is undoubtedly Valorant’s most popular Agent, but despite Riot’s previous attempts to nerf the Chinese Sentinel, it appears that another is on the cards.

While Valorant plays host to a diverse roster of characters, there are a select few that excel (in the current meta) more than others. Sage is most definitely one of those characters.


The Sentinel Medic is a jack of all trades, with her potential to slow down an enemy push or segment the map with her wall — if played correctly, Sage has a knack to turn the tides of a round in her favor on a dime… That’s not to mention her healing abilities!

It’s no wonder then, that Riot are so keen on nerfing Sage, with Valorant Character Design Lead, Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott, admitting that Sage is “really out of control,” while indicating that the source of her balancing issues might not be from her healing.

Valorant's Sage.
Riot Games
Sage is the most picked Agent across all ranks.

Why are Riot nerfing Sage?

One of Valorant’s Gameplay Researchers, Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm, gave more of an indication as to why Sage could be currently deemed to be overpowered, with the rationale varying at different ranks.

“We tend to find that healing is more valued in lower MMRs, and her hard stall power is more valued in higher MMRs, although obviously both outputs are useful across the spectrum,” Altombre explained.

It also seems that while a nerf could be in the works as a short-term fix, Riot could be looking towards introducing an Agent with similar abilities to increase the “choice competition.”


So what needs to be nerfed?

Well, given how influential Sage’s Ultimate can be on dictating the course of a round, it appears that could be an ability that is in the firing line.

“We’d like to keep the resurrect in the game, so we’ll likely be exploring tuning levers there first before resorting to something like a rework.”

Riot's Altombre commenting on Sage in Valorant.

With that said, Sage’s stalling abilities have been the part of her utility which has been tweaked the most. Most notably, her Barrier Orb’s overall health was decreased during Patch 1.00, alongside reducing its range during Patch 1.01.


So what determines when an Agent is “out of control,” as Morello previously stated? Well, it appears that Riot operates on four primary metrics: raw pick rate, % round win-rate on Defense, % round win-rate on Offense, and match win-rate are.

By monitoring each of these across the different skill levels within Valorant, the dev team develops a solid picture on the meta, and most importantly, if one particular character is excelling within that meta.


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.