A new bug in Valorant has caused players to de-rank at alarming rates while some were even placed in an entirely new tier on the competitive ladder.
Since the release of Valorant’s competitive playlist on May 1, just eight unique ranks have existed. From Iron 1 all the way through to Radiant, players have been grinding to achieve their best placement in the first Episode.
It can take quite a few exceptional performances and a number of consecutive wins to rank up. Therefore, losing and dropping down a few tiers is always going to sting. When a new issue surfaced on July 20 – one that saw players demoted much faster than usual – developers at Riot were quick to respond.
The issue impacted players in the North American region and was fixed relatively fast. Though a few individuals hit with the bug were exposed to something entirely new. A never before seen ranked icon.
We're aware of some issues with the ranked system aggressively demoting players and are actively fixing. These demotions won't last long-term, only the displayed rank should be impacted, winning a game will put players back in the correct rank again.
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) July 20, 2020
Riot first responded to the problem by assuring that “aggressive” demotions won’t last long-term.” In fact, the issue was purely visual. Players were still maintaining their place in the rankings, “only the displayed rank” was actually impacted.
Three hours later a fix was deployed for North American players. All you had to do was play one more ranked game to “get synced back to what your real rank is.” While there was much concern at first, the issue was squashed with no long-lasting ramifications. Valorant developer ‘riotriviera’ soon took to Reddit to explain more about the ranked hiccup.
“There was a misconfiguration on the rank display calculation, that put players in the wrong tier when calculating displayed rank,” they said. Though this added detail came in a particularly intriguing thread. Some players impacted by the de-rank problem were given a brand-new ranked icon and label.
‘Unused1’ appeared on-screen for Reddit user ‘jackson558wolf’ after winning multiple placement games. The icon is something entirely separate from all competitive ranks that we’ve seen thus far. Could it be indicative of a new tier coming soon? That remains to be seen.
Riot has already confirmed that changes are coming to the highest tier of play in Valorant. While developers wouldn’t provide a rough release window, perhaps this icon is the first leak of new ranks coming soon.
It could also be a simple icon that never saw the light of day. Only time will tell as developers continue to evolve the competitive experience in Valorant.