Riot interview: Valorant devs on new skins, crossovers and lore - Dexerto

Riot interview: Valorant devs on new skins, crossovers and lore

Published: 30/Aug/2020 17:33 Updated: 30/Aug/2020 17:36

by Andy Williams


Dexerto spoke exclusively with the minds behind Valorant’s cosmetics to develop further insight on what we can expect moving forward.  

Despite only being three months old, Riot have already introduced a bunch of cosmetics into their tactical shooter. From an entirely cyberpunk-inspired skin bundle, to a fire-breathing dragon that, when wielded, will turn your Agent into a Targaryen (well not quite, but the Ultra-Edition Elderflame bundle certainly lived up to the hype).

Aside from offering some of the most diverse and outlandish skins in their premium bundles, Riot have also embedded a plethora of unique cosmetics via their seasonal Battle Pass system. Act 2’s rewards gave players the opportunity to add some more variety to their Collection.

So, with Riot kicking off their cosmetic campaign with a bang, we spoke with the Valorant dev team about skin lore, Agent reskins, crossovers and much more.

Fans are loving the range of cosmetics on offer, with Elderflame specifically receiving a lot of love. Will skins like these play into Valorant lore, and will we develop a deeper meaning to terms like ‘Elderflame’ as time goes on?

“The lore behind our skins is completely separate from the lore of the game; they are not directly related. When we create skins, we build an ‘alternate fantasy’ for that skin’s world to help with development (such as asking ourselves questions like ‘In this alternate universe, who’d use this weapon?’), but that fantasy isn’t related to the lore of Valorant. We do try to find opportunities where cosmetics can fit within the lore like with the Kingdom weapons, but we have to make sure that whatever we decide to make goes along with the narrative that is being told at the time.

“We found an interesting opportunity with Glitchpop to say ‘what if this was just a fantasized version of something that existed in the Valorant universe?’ In the same way we have Marvel or DC in the real world, Glitchpop (as shown by the pop-up store that appeared in Split) was something we said can be a fictional IP that lives within Valorant to show what it is, and the gun skins are the sort of fantastical realization of it.”

Sean Marino, Art Lead Premium Content on Valorant at Riot Games.

Elderflame skin collection in Valorant.
Riot Games
The Elderflame bundle was released in July 2020 as the first ‘Ultra-Edition’ weapon skin in Valorant.

Agent skins are widely requested within the community, with the likes of Apex Legends seeing great success by maintaining the shape of character models while giving them a fresh lick of paint. Can we expect to see these in Valorant any time soon?

“Readability is critical in our game, so skinning Agents is a whole other challenge that we’d need to be extremely thoughtful about if we ever decided to include them. We do not have any status updates to share right now. We know Agent skins are something players have asked for and we want to make them, but we are doing our due diligence in figuring out the best way to execute them.

“Agent skins in Valorant is a really complex topic. On one hand, you have people who really want them in our game. On the other hand, you also have a lot of players who are really anxious about Agent skins impacting gameplay and competitive integrity, which is a very valid concern that we share. Either way, when this becomes something we decide to dive into, we want to find the right balance that feels valuable and exciting for players but also adheres to our strict competitive integrity requirements.”

— Dexter Yu, Senior Producer on Valorant at Riot Games.

Valorant's Agents.
Riot Games
Giving Future Earth’s cast a fresh lick of paint is something Riot are invested in doing the right way.

Plenty of titles have seen success from cosmetic crossovers, with the likes of Fortnite x Marvel springing to mind. Can we expect to see any crossovers of this nature in Valorant?

“We don’t have any plans for crossovers at the moment, but we think it would be a cool idea. Same goes for any crossovers with the League of Legends universe. It’s definitely something we’re interested in doing, but it’s not something we have planned right now. We’re still early in our skin development, so crossovers aren’t something we’ve committed to yet.”

Preeti Khanolkar, Premium Content Producer on Valorant at Riot Games.

Games like Overwatch and CS:GO offer seasonal map reskins for a limited time. Can we expect to see something like this or holiday-specific events in the future?

“We currently do not have any plans for seasonal map re-skins. Our Maps team recently shipped a temporary update on Split’s Defender Spawn and Coffee Shop (on A-Site) to highlight the content releases for the Glitchpop skin line and Killjoy. We may continue to do smaller scope updates like that, but do not have any massive map re-skins planned at the moment. With that being said, anything is possible, for the right goals, with enough time and resources.”

— Dexter Yu, Senior Producer on Valorant at Riot Games.

Valorant players shooting their weapons.
Riot Games
Imagine Haven covered in snow, or littered with eerie decorations near Halloween.

And finally, given the popularity of the cosmetics we’ve seen so far, is there a particular theme/skin you’ve had the most requests for?

“We get so many requests for cosmetics that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. If I had to pick, I’d say the majority of the requests are for us to bring back the Reaver skins from Closed Beta (keep in mind this is just over social media, not from surveys). I probably see a comment or Tweet about this at least once per day! Even if we did decide to bring Reaver back, it wouldn’t be the exact same as players remember it. Reaver was a work-in-progress; a prototype to see how players would respond to evolving gun skins.

“Now that we have a lot more experience making skins for Valorant, we believe that we could create something better than what players experienced back in Closed Beta. Separately, we also get a lot of requests for more guns within existing skin lines, like requests for a Prime Phantom or a Glitchpop Vandal. We haven’t committed to making more guns for those skin lines, but it’s cool that players like the skin lines enough to want even more guns!”

Preeti Khanolkar, Premium Content Producer on Valorant at Riot Games.

As Valorant continues to go from strength-to-strength, it looks like there’s plenty on the cards in terms of skin variety. But for those hoping for the Closed Beta’s Reaver skin line, it looks like you’ll have to sit tight. Eh, more reason to get that coveted Sakura Vandal.


Valorant First Strike Europe #1 final results: G2 & Team Liquid qualify

Published: 16/Nov/2020 13:35 Updated: 16/Nov/2020 13:54

by Lauren Bergin


With Valorant First Strike: North America well underway, the European rendition of the tournament has begun and is just as competitive as its American counterpart. 

The North American First Strike competition, alongside others across the globe, are already in full swing. With major upsets such as TSM, FaZe and T1 all being knocked out relatively early, it’s safe to say that EU fans wanted a piece of the Valorant action.

With a shared prize of $100,000 (€85,000) up for grabs, EU’s best teams were certainly geared up to go, and there were some mind-boggling performances across the board.

EU fans were also hyped though, especially because the weekend before the Spike Nations of Twitch charity competition had acted as the perfect introduction to the EU leg of the tournament.

G2 Esports, FunPlusPhoenix, Team Liquid and SUMN FC qualify

After a grueling set of qualifying games, G2 Esports, FPX Esports, Team Liquid and SUMN FC became the first four teams to make it into the First Strike: Europe main event.

However, in the case of G2 Esports their eventual victory came at the behest of some drama. Only receiving their spot in the playoffs due to Riot Games punishing the use of an illegal exploit by initial winners Guild Esports, the EU event saw the first ever punishment in Valorant esports.

With the second batch of qualifiers kicking off on November 16, it’ll be interesting to see who else qualifies and, more importantly, if there’s more shocking punishments.

Valorant First Strike Europe Open Qualifier #1: Results

These were the main dates of the tournament. The following qualifiers determined who were the first four teams to go on to compete in the First Strike: Europe main event:

  • Qualifier A: Nov 9 – Nov 10
  • Qualifier B: Nov 11 – Nov 12
  • Play-ins: Nov 13

Valorant First Strike Europe Qualifier A

Tuesday, November 10

G2 Esports 13 – 9 N0thing to L0se 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
need more DM 8 – 13 Prodigy 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Opportunists 13 -5 eSuba 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Ninjas in Pyjamas 13 – 10 Lunaris 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
MJAOMOADE 13 – 6 ROG Esport 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
HSDIRR 5 – 13 Wave Esports  9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Liquid 13 – 11 Team Finest 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Queso 13 – 8 Team Toxic 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
FunPlusPhoenix 13 – 8 Mik0nsDisciple 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Purple Cobras 15 – 13 mens)) 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
nolpenki 15 – 13 Enterprise Esports 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Heretics 13 – 11 L’institut 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
SUMN FC 13 – 5 Entoripiq Bravo 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Giants Gaming 13 – 7 Nix.GG 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
eXiLe eSports 13 – 8 STR99 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM

Valorant First Strike Europe Qualifier B

Thursday, November 12

Guild Esports 13 – 2 N0thing to L0se 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Souldazz 5 – 13 eSuba 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Toxic 10 – 13 Wizards Club 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
L’institut 13 – 6 Constant Rise 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
HSDIRR 13 – 2 Raven Esports Club 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
M4LIK 13 – 6 B7 Warriors 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Arctic Gaming 10 – 13 Kamil Klein new chapter 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Lunaris 13 – 9 hREDS 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
SKADE 13 – 9 -sheesh- 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
VALORANDO 13 – 6 Chakalaka 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
unsigned 12 – 14 BIG 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Finest 13 – 10 Entropiq Bravo 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
need more DM 13 – 5 Blokes 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
STR99 11 – 5 No Teeth 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Rix.GG 13 – 6 Wygers 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Cool Guys 4 – 13 VASTA Gaming 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM

Friday November 13

Round Match (BO1) PST EST GMT CET
Play-ins (top 32)

G2 Esports 13 – 1 VASTA Gaming 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Team Queso 6 – 13 Guild Esports 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Ninjas in Pyjamas 14 – Lunaris 12 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Team Heretics 13 – 4 STR99 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Team Liquid 13 – 1 Kamil Klein new chapter 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Prodigy 13 – 8 Rix.GG 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
nolpenki 13 – 11 BIG 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
FunPlusPhoenix 13 – 2 M4LIK 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Wave Esports 10 – 13 SKADE 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Purple Cobras 13 – 4 Team Finest 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Opportunists 13 – 10 eSuba 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
MJAOMODE 13 – 15 need more DM 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
Giants Gaming 11 – 13 L’Institut 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM
eXiLe esports 15 – 13 Wizards Club 8AM 11AM 4PM 5PM


Round Match (BO1) PST EST GMT CET
Play-ins (top 16)

G2 Esports 10 – 13 Guild Esports* 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Ninjas In Pyjamas 13 – 11 Team Heretics 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Liquid 13 – 7 HSDIRR 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Prodigy 13 – 11 nolpenki 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
FunPlusPheonix 13 – 1 SKADE 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Purple Cobras 11 – 13 Opportunists 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
SUMN FC 13 – 9 need more DM 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
L’Institut 7 – 13 eXiLe eSports 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM

*Guild Esports were forced to take a forfeit loss after it was discovered they were using an ‘illegal’ exploit on Ascent. G2 Esports progressed.

Playoffs: Saturday, November 14

Round Match (BO3) PST EST GMT CET
G2 Esports 2-0 Ninjas in Pyjamas 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
Team Liquid 2-0 Prodigy 11AM 2PM 7PM 8PM

Finals: Sunday, November 15

Round Match (BO3) PST EST GMT CET
Playoffs FunPlus Phoenix 2-0 Opportunists 9AM 12PM 5PM 6PM
  SUMN FC 2-0 eXiLe eSports 11AM 2PM 7PM 8PM

Valorant First Strike Europe Open Qualifier #1: Final Placements

The first four teams moving on to compete in the First Strike: Europe Global Finals are:

  • G2 Esports
  • FunPlusPhoenix
  • Team Liquid