Is Valorant’s staggered patch times having an impact on regional Twitch viewership? Some pros have vented their concerns and Riot Games’ Game Director has responded.
Given that Riot filters the way Valorant is run by region, the deployment of their updates follows suit. As part of the developer’s staggered approach, specific regions have access to a new patch before others.
Typically since launch, America has been the first to receive a patch, followed by Asia and Oceania, before finally filtering into Europe. While this means the creases that usually come with a new patch are ironed out before going live in Europe and surrounding regions, it does also provide first access to the Americas.
And that’s the crux of the issue: it’s a double-edged sword. While the Americas are tested first, they also have first access to all of the changes within the game. Meaning that thousands will tune-in from around the world to check out the latest changes in the flesh.
Valorant players frustrated with patch times
Wygers Team Coach, Lucas Rojo, questioned Valorant Game Director, Joe Ziegler, on exactly why the Americas receive a new patch first, claiming that there’s a “priority towards North America.”
Ziegler responded claiming that there isn’t a priority per se — in the sense that one region is preferred over another — stating that an error is easier to fix if it’s in the developer’s “own backyard.”
“This actually isn’t intended to be priority in terms of access. This is more in the realm of “if it breaks in our backyard it’s easier to fix here before it spreads to the rest of the world.”
This actually isn’t intended to be priority in terms of access. This is more in the realm of “if it breaks in our backyard it’s easier to fix here before it spreads to the rest of the world.”
— Ziegler (@RiotZiegler) August 5, 2020
G2 Esports’ Oscar ‘Mixwell’ Cañellas chimed in with similar concerns to Rojo, implying that it has a negative impact on viewership in the regions which receive the patch last.
It's kinda annoying that NA gets to try first every update, streamers and content creators benefit so much because all the regions have to watch them.
— G2 m1xwell (@Mixwell) August 5, 2020
Naturally, deploying a patch will lend itself more to the region that receives it first, as that’s when the interest in the latest in-game content spikes. Of course, this could also impact the competitive integrity of the game, should Riot ever flick the switch on cross-regional matchmaking in Valorant.
For now, though, it appears that the staggered approach to patch deployment is here to stay. So unless Riot are willing to rotate which region receives it first, the player base will just have to adapt.