Valorant dev responds to player backlash over Episode 4 rank reset

Viper ValorantRiot Games

Valorant devs have responded to backlash from players, after the Episode 4 rank reset has led some to not want to queue for ranked at all, due to significant demotions.

Valorant’s anticipated Episode 4 update was released on January 11, and the devs absolutely didn’t shy away from some meta-shifting changes – especially with a weapon shakeup that has driven players to pick up an Ares over a Vandal or Phantom.

The start of Episode 4 also kicked off with what you could call a new ranked season, as a rank reset was initiated to help better correct MMR.

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However, the reset has caused players to drop a few ranks, though further than expected for some, leading them to lose motivation to play. Now, the devs have responded to concerns.

valorant neon lies on bed with hands behind head thinkingRiot Games
Valorant Episode 4 kicked off with the release of the 18th agent Neon.

Valorant player Jalen849 posted a Reddit thread of their match history shortly after Episode 4’s release – which showcased a top performance where they got match MVP during multiple placement games.

However, Jalen849 only placed Silver 3, four ranks lower than the Platnium 1 where they ended Episode 3. This drop left them demotivated to play: “Riot’s placement for this season makes me not want to queue up for ranked.”

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The Reddit thread has since received a lot of support from other players, who also had a similar experience being placed in a lower rank despite performing well. Jalen849’s thread eventually got a response from Valorant’s senior competitive designer Jonathan “EvrMoar” Walker, who cleared up concerns.

“I understand it’s frustrating to go from a rank you spent lots of time achieving and then get dropped back down. Rank is part of your identity in Valorant and when ranked reset occurs it can be very upsetting depending on how hard you drop,” said EvrMoar. “While it may be rough to get dropped, know that the entire player base of ranked is getting dropped the same amount following the same rules. We aren’t dropping you more or singling you out, the whole community gets hit with the reset.”

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The competitive designer continued by assuring all players that ranks are squished downwards: “You can expect to drop (usually) 1-4 ranks from where you were the last episode. Higher ranks get dropped harder due to leaderboard ranking, boosting concerns, skill atrophy, etc.”

EvrMoar added the are a multitude of reasons behind the rank reset that comes with every Episode. “We have multiple reasons we do a reset,” the dev revealed. “The entire player base is improving in Valorant all the time. Players may be gold, platinum, diamond, etc. but kind of coasting at that rank. By resetting we are ensuring that if you are Diamond in the current episode you actually are a diamond player right now.”

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Clearing out boosted and botted accounts is another reasoning behind rank resets. “While we will always try to combat bad actors in Valorant ranked, it would be foolish to think we will always detect all of these accounts. It helps clear out accounts that may have abused the system and have gone undetected.”

Lastly, EvrMoar addressed concerns that the rank reset is to entice players to grind more, which according to the Riot developer isn’t the case at all: “I want to address the statement “Riot just does this to increase the grind to make you play more”. I am the designer in charge of ranked, and as a competitive team we work out what we want to do to create a positive ranked experience. Our team does not have a requirement to increase playtime, or any expectation that we must enforce a grind; we also do not have anyone above us pushing these ideals or goals.”

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Due to the reasons given, we wouldn’t expect Riot to do things any differently for Episode 5 – quite simply players will have to put up with the reset.

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