Valorant players have been clamoring for a 5-stack queue in Ranked, and Riot revealed more about what’s been holding them back from implementing any such playlist.
The studio has been trying to figure out how to give players a meaningful ranked experience without compromising the competitive integrity of Valorant, which starts to explain why 5-stack queues haven’t returned to the game.
In the May 31 Ask Valorant blog, Competitive Designer, Jon Walker outlined the team’s biggest questions in tackling 5-stack queues and what players can possibly expect in Episode 3.
Valorant 5-stack update issues
If the Valorant devs were to bring the option to 5-stack, then it would drastically hurt the state of their matchmaking timers by splitting up the queues, they said.
Having multiple queues for Ranked would also diminish the prestige of all the queues, Walker explained.
“We have significant concerns regarding splitting queues,” Walker said, describing how flex queues or splitting people into different ranked playlists was best for Valorant. “We fear that one ranked queue would become ‘The Real Ranked Queue’ and the other queue becomes less prestigious.”
There’s already players who feel like the ranked competitive queue in its current state doesn’t accurately reflect people’s real ranks. Moreover, high Elo players that have to deal with boosted players and lower Elo people that deal with smurfs have been wanting changes in Valorant.
Riot is looking to solutions that would promote match fairness. That’s why having a pool of players in one ranked matchmaking system is important: it lowers queue times and better scrutinizes players’ ranks for a match to help with competitive integrity.
Still, the studio is looking at ways to provide players with a meaningful competitive experience in Valorant.
New competitive Valorant mode in Episode 3?
One of the two questions Riot is tackling with a 5v5 mode is: How can we create a high-stakes competitive experience for teams?
Walker teased something on this front, but instead pivoted to 100 Thieves’ Hiko and his video on Ranked feedback. The 31-year-old pro player insists on a refined progression system that ties in-game performance to how much rank rating you get.
For Duelists, this could mean getting entry kills, for Sentinels it could track how many opponents you’ve inhibited in a given round, etc.
Whatever Walker and co. are thinking about, it looks like we’ll know more about it near or at the start of Episode 3 around June 22.