Riot responds to Valorant ranked backlash: “We’re not here to give you free ranks”

Riot Games

Following recent backlash around Valorant’s competitive experience, developers at Riot Games have broken down the key complaints and outlined why “ranked isn’t as bad as people think.”

It would be an understatement to say ranked play in Valorant has come under fire lately. The competitive grind has been blasted by the likes of Shroud and Hiko as the community demands rapid improvements.

While some players have pointed towards matchmaking issues, others have slammed the lack of various features, like being able to queue as a five-stack. With criticisms piling up in the latest Act, Valorant senior competitive designer Jon ‘EvrMoar’ Walker tried to put out some fires in a lengthy Reddit post.

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Expanding on a May 14 ranked hotfix, the dev took some time to elaborate on recent focal points. Up first came the issue of a few ‘non-existent’ problems. 

Valorant ranked iconsRiot Games
Riot has addressed recent feedback surrounding Valorant’s ranked experience.

“There is no such thing” as a ‘winners/losers queue’ in Valorant today, Walker confirmed. Despite this, recent backlash would have you thinking that wasn’t the case. It’s these ‘untrue’ arguments that “make the space harder for navigating,” he explained.

“[Players] go on to believe ranked is broken, because of something that wasn’t true, to begin with. It’s a vicious cycle in every game that has a ranked system.”

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From the dev’s perspective, competitive Valorant “isn’t as bad as people think.”

Regardless of how much traction certain issues may have online, Walker refuses to make changes based on community backlash alone. After consulting his own data and conducting his own research, it’s fair to say he has a better perspective than most.

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As a result, he’s “not here to make a system to give you a free rank you don’t deserve,” no matter how unpopular that might be.

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Valorant gameplay on BreezeRiot Games
Riot is constantly assessing the state of ranked in Valorant.

Rest assured the team at Riot is constantly on top of the ranked environment. “We are measuring data, player feedback on social media, surveying players directly, and constantly monitoring ranked queue health.”

Though even with this approach, “there will always be improvements to make,” Walker admitted. “Ranked will always need updating in our eyes.”

As for specifics they’re trying to hone in on, Walker outlined a few big areas of improvement in the works.

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“We are currently investigating matchmaking, to see how we can improve it.” Moreover, they’re also looking into smurfs and “more systems to combat AFK/Toxicity.”

Obviously there’s no timeline mapped out for these adjustments yet. But it’s evident Riot is hard at work on “[making] the system feel better.”

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