T1 secure first Valorant pro after signing ex-CSGO player Brax - Dexerto

T1 secure first Valorant pro after signing ex-CSGO player Brax

Published: 10/Mar/2020 3:14 Updated: 10/Mar/2020 11:27

by Andrew Amos


Valorant isn’t even out yet, but that hasn’t stopped T1 from securing the first pro player for Riot’s FPS title, signing former CS:GO player Braxton ‘Brax’ Pierce (formerly Swag) as a “creator and professional.”

Valorant might have only been announced last week, but teams are already cashing in on the craze. Riot’s upcoming FPS title looks to shake up the entire genre, and players are flocking from all over to get involved.

Capitalising on the massive popularity, South Korean organization T1 has secured one of the hottest free agents on the market right now ⁠— former CS:GO pro Brax.

The organization announced the signing of the North American FPS prodigy on March 9, with the intention of having the former CS:GO star play on their professional Valorant team as well as stream under their brand.

“T1 is excited to welcome Brax to the team as a creator and professional for Valorant, CS:GO and [other] FPS titles,” the organization said.

“I’m excited to announce I will be joining T1 as their first Tactical FPS player ever,” Brax added. “I’m eager to carry my knowledge and understanding of CS over to Valorant as we both look to build the best team in the world.”

While Brax will continue to play CS:GO casually, he will no longer play competitively after retiring on February 28. He has his sights set on “being the best in the world” in Valorant, and has been hyping up Riot’s FPS for months.

Brax was the prodigal son of North America’s Counter-Strike, coming onto the scene back in 2012 and making a quick rise up the ranks. However, after being caught up in the iBUYPOWER match fixing scandal in 2015, he was banned from all Valve-sponsored CS:GO events.

While he still competed all the way up until the end of last month, Brax was never able to show his stuff on the world stage ⁠— and he’s looking to do just that in Valorant.

T1 aren’t the only organization looking to cash in on the Valorant hype. Team SoloMid has already made their intentions clear about getting a team in the upcoming game, while others like G2 Esports have shown interest on Twitter.

Players won’t be able to see T1 and Brax in action in Valorant until its release in Summer 2020. While there are betas coming up soon, the game’s full release will likely mark the start of its competitive scene as teams scramble to get the best talent from the get-go.


Riot cracks down on Valorant smurfs with new ranked restrictions

Published: 5/Dec/2020 2:51

by Andrew Amos


Smurfs in Valorant are increasingly becoming more of a problem. With it being free to make an account, and the conditions for ranked being easy to hit, smurfs are swarming the ladder. Riot are introducing new measures to hopefully curb their impact though.

The smurfs have Valorant’s ranked system all figured out. With no leaderboard to grind for yet, once you hit a high rank and the queue times get long, all you have to do is start a new account, AFK or surrender 20 unrated games in a row, and you’ll be back in the queues in no time.

20 games might sound like forever, but when you’re practically hands-off keyboard for the entire run, it’s a small price to pay to restart the grind. However, it makes the experience unenjoyable for the nine other players in every game on the way up.

Sova standing in Bind defender spawn in Valorant
Riot Games
Valorant smurfs have been AFKing in spawn for 20 unrated games to unlock their accounts for ranked play.

In the unrated games, it sucks constantly playing 4v5. When the smurfs hit ranked, they’re often miles better than the players they are matched against early. It ruins the game for hundreds of people for every account made.

Riot is aware of this issue, and is looking at closing the loophole in patch 1.14. They want to at least make smurfs work for their alternate accounts by forcing them to win games, not just play them.

“You’ll notice that we are implementing an update in 1.14 that changes the requirements to unlock ranked mode to ‘games won’ rather than ‘games played.’ We hope this will force players who are just spam farming matches to actually participate in play and strive for wins,” developer Sara Dadafshar said in the latest Ask Valorant.

This is coming as Riot launch a mutli-pronged attack on AFK punishments. Queue cooldowns are no longer enough, with Riot considering rank penalties, and even bans, for players who consistently AFK in their games.

“We’re looking into things like rank penalties, experience mitigations, longer queue time restrictions, and even bans if it comes down to it.”

“We want to distinguish between disruptive behaviors that stem from comms and gameplay, and then penalize accordingly.”

They are also keeping their eyes on “intentionally feeding” players, who are just losing 20 games in a row to get their accounts ranked-ready. Riot urged players to report any players that are doing this, as it’ll most likely lead to punishments.