Riot planning to add Valorant stream-sniping countermeasures next patch

Published: 21/Aug/2020 2:32

by Brad Norton


The latest Valorant update has allegedly laid the groundwork for new methods of combating pesky stream-snipers in the tactical First Person Shooter.

Stream-snipers can often ruin the experience of any competitive game. Whether they’re targeting a popular personality so that they can intentionally lose, or they’re on the enemy team tracking every movement of an internet celebrity.

It can be extremely frustrating and even enough to turn people away from certain titles. Many of the biggest names on Twitch have resorted to their own methods in order to combat these pesky players. However, Riot is seemingly preparing a few new settings to counter the issue directly in Valorant.

As the August 20 patch came online, it was quickly torn apart by prominent dataminers in the community. While it was a relatively small update, a few big changes appear to be on the horizon. Here’s how Valorant will soon be targeting stream-snipers head-on.

Valorant melee gameplay
Riot Games
Stream snipers often go out of their way to target individuals in the lobby.

If players notice a big name on the enemy team, there’s a chance they focus entirely on hunting down the streamer. It’s a common problem but Riot has a new method on the way to nip it in the bud. A few new lines of code were spotted in the 1.06 update by ‘ValorLeaks.’ These strings hint that new stream-sniping countermeasures are almost ready to go live. 

One such countermeasure is the ability to “hide [your] name from players outside of [the] party.” If players aren’t on your friends list and in your squad directly, your name will be outright hidden. When popular streamers load into a game, no one in the match will know it’s them if they’re solo-queueing. 

Valorant isn’t the first game to implement such measures — Fortnite has had a similar system in place for quite some time — though Riot appears to be taking things one step further. There will also be a feature to safeguard others in the lobby. “Use generic names for players outside of party,” an additional line of code reads.

If you choose to enable this feature, every single game will be filled with anonymous players. There will be no way to identify who is competing across either team in the lobby.

These streamer-friendly options should create a far less frustrating environment for those playing while live. There’s no indicating when these settings might come online. Though the groundwork has clearly been set in the August 20 update.

From shotgun nerfs to flash changes, here’s everything you need to know about the latest Valorant patch.


Valorant Split map guide: Callouts, strategies, more

Published: 24/Jan/2021 5:30 Updated: 24/Jan/2021 6:12

by Bill Cooney


In Valorant, where you are and how you move around the map matters just about as much as your gunplay. So to help you in your quest for Radiant, we’ll be going over the ups and downs of Split in this guide.

Split has two Reactor Sites – just like Ascent and Bind – but what makes it special are the yellow ropes that let you move up and down from one level to another. You can actually hang out on the ropes and, with a little practice, pop up like a whack-a-mole to punish unsuspecting enemies.

As always, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the Reactor Site locations and callouts on the map below, since chances are you’ll be hearing at least a few per match.

Riot Games
Callouts for Valorant’s Split, according to the in-game map.

You don’t need to memorize every single callout, that would be a bit ridiculous, but getting the hang of what certain names like Tower, Rafters, Sewer, and Garage are referencing will definitely help you out in the long run.

Split can definitely lean towards favoring defenders over attackers, due to the bottlenecks you have to make your way through on offense, so let’s start out by looking at what you can do to make planting the spike a little easier before we move on to defense.

How to play Attack on Split

Reactor Site A

We’ll start with A, which can be tricky to take on as an attacker because defenders have plenty of places to hide and catch you as you move in. A Lobby, A Main, Ramp, Rafters, and Screens all the way in the back are all common spots you’ll see defenders posted up in as you push. 

Valorant Split A Tower
Riot Games
The changes to A Tower make it a must-take if you are attacking A Site.

To counter this, Omen’s smokes can work, but another option is to use Viper’s Toxic Screen to dissect the point and reduce the enemy’s line of sight.

When it comes to planting the Spike on A, you usually can’t go wrong by putting it on the side of the blue billboard — denying opponents that might rotate on high from having an easy shot.

This also allows you to keep an eye on enemies coming from A-Screens in the back, as they’ll have to come to where the Spike is, and where you’re posted up.

Valorant Split A site
Riot Games
Planting behind the blue billboard, or the big A on A Site is the way to go.

Reactor Site B

Next let’s look at the B-Site, which can be very tough as there’s only one main way to reach the point — through the bottleneck created by Garage. While this has been opened up somewhat, there’s still a lot of angles defenders can play from.

If you’re going to rush B, putting some kind of smoke up in B Towers to cut off the enemy line of sight is a solid plan. Omen is the best choice, as only one smoke can be used to cut off the entirety of Heaven. Brimstone and Viper can both do the job though.

When it comes to planting on B, it all depends on which side of the point you can/want to defend. The box in the middle of the point is your pivot, but if you have the control, planting under the big red B is the best — you can hold the site down from B Main, making it very hard to retake.

Valorant Split B Site
Riot Games
You can now plant from B Site and defend it from B Main if you plant under the big red B.

Conversely, if you control Towers and Rafters and want to defend from the high ground, putting the Spike on the other side will give you a clear view of any defuse attempts.

Mid Route

Mid on Split doesn’t have a direct point like Haven, but any team that controls the middle of the map early on has a much better chance of walking away with a round win. For Attackers, this means getting the Defense to move around and leave cover — which makes good ol’ Breach and his wallbangs perfectly suited for disrupting and pushing Mid.

Valorant Split Mid
Riot Games
Split Mid is still important to control, as it’s the primary rotate point between sites.

How to play Defense on Split

Reactor Site A

On A, you can either rush up as Defenders and occupy A Main to intercept Attackers, or if you want to play it safe, you can hang back around A Screens to peek out and hit them when they head onto the site and start to feel confident.

If you’re feeling cheeky, you can hide behind the large blue sign in the middle of A Site to surprise over-eager Spike carriers. But if they have a backup with them, the chances of you making it out alive are slim to none.

Valorant Split A Heaven
Riot Games
You can also hold this fine angle from A Heaven looking towards A Main.

As always, Cypher is a great choice on Defense, because he can basically keep tabs on the enemies as they move into the point… so you’ll know exactly when to strike. Omen can also do a decent job at holding things down with his smokes.

Reactor Site B

On B-Site, you really only need one Defender completely committed to the site, with others providing support from Mid. As the lone Defender, you can really set up anywhere you please, as long as you don’t play your hand and show yourself too early. There are simply too many angles and areas of cover for the Attackers to effectively neutralize them all.

Valorant Split B Heaven
Riot Games
There’s now a double-stack box in the way for defenders, but you can opt to play around it.

Good Agents to put on Split’s B-Site are of course Cypher; his Cypher Cam and Trapwire can will notify your teammates of an enemy push. Killjoy also works with her turret, Alarmbot, and Nanoswarms.

A Viper who knows what they’re doing can also do a fine job of keeping things clear, especially when you combine her Poison Cloud and Snake Bite abilities to slow down a push.

Mid Route

Mid might be the most important area to hold for either side of the Spike. If attackers are able to take control, they can effectively rotate to, and control either side of the map. If you’re tasked with holding Mid, the most important thing to remember is to just be patient and wait for the Attackers to peek, because they have to move up, while you can just hang out.

Mid-Vent and Mid-Mail are both good spots to hang out and wait for the offense to make their move. Raze and Breach are best suited to stalling out with their offensive utility, while Sage can drop a wall to really stop attackers in their tracks.

Valorant Split Vents
Riot Games
It’s no longer safe to hold the right hand side of the door on Vents due to recent map changes.

If you haven’t spent a lot of time in Valorant, or similar games before, this can seem like a full semester of information to take in. But don’t worry, because as you play the map you’ll start to pick up on everything we’ve mentioned here from your teammates.

Communicating with your team is one of the most important things you can do in Valorant. So even if you don’t have every callout on the map memorized, working together and talking as a team can help make playing both Attack and Defense a bit simpler when Split comes up in the rotation.