Valorant

Valorant update 2.00 sees some serious Brimstone buffs

Published: 12/Jan/2021 15:40 Updated: 12/Jan/2021 15:59

by Brad Norton

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Brimstone has been one of the least-picked Agents in Valorant for quite some time, but he’s in luck. Patch 2.00 has delivered the American controller some much needed buffs.

Valorant first launched with nine Agents and just three in the Controller category. Brimstone, Viper, and Omen all come with their fair share of smoke-based abilities to obscure enemy vision. However, only Omen has truly stood out from the pack at all levels of play.

Whether you’re on the competitive ladder or watching professional matches, Brimstone sightings have been few and far between. While the Agent has gone without any drastic changes through Episode 1, things have picked up in Episode 2.

Valorant patch 2.00 has seen some serious buffs to the drill sergeant Controller, so let’s get into it.

Brimstone in Valorant
Riot Games
Brimstone’s buffs in Valorant patch 2.00 will make the American Controller worth picking.

After teasing the Brimstone buff to players days before the Episode 2 reveal, the numbers are now in. The main changes to Brimstone are right here:

Stim Beacon

  • Will now quick cast (no equip time)

Molotov

  • Cost reduced: $300 >>> $200

Sky Smokes

  • Cast range increased: 4200 >>> 5000
  • Smoke duration increased:14.25 >>> 19.25

It was clear that Brimstone has long been overdue some adjustments. The Agent barely saw any playtime throughout the First Strike finals, according to stats from TheSpike. In fact, Omen had a 100% pick rate across North America while Brimstone sat with a 0% pick rate.

Similar can be said for the European leg of the tournament. Brimstone saw play in four maps throughout the event while Omen came in as the top dog with 30 maps in total. Evidently, more needs to be done to make the Agent a more viable pick and thankfully, Riot agrees.

Valorant gameplay
Riot Games
Brimstone’s kit will be changing for the better in Episode 2.

With Omen also getting nerfed at the same time, it’s likely we will see a shift in the controller meta right before Valorant Champions Tour 2021 kicks off.

The patch notes also mention that Brimstone’s fellow American, Viper, is likely the next in line for some adjustments. So, only time will tell if both the toxin loving scientist and Brimstone rise to the top of the pack.

Overwatch

Blizzard changes Overwatch Priority Pass again to stop system abuse

Published: 16/Jan/2021 2:04

by Andrew Amos

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Blizzard has implemented more changes to their Overwatch Priority Pass program to stop players from abusing the system to get their preferred role more often.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch has been a successful addition so far. Giving players the option to jump the queue for high-traffic roles by sacrificing a few games has helped tackle the game’s long queue times.

However, it hasn’t been without its flaws. Game quality has been pulled into question, with people playing off-role for these passes. Also, people have been abusing the current system to just stack passes quickly by intentionally losing.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Priority Passes have been a hit with Overwatch players, but it’s not perfect.

Blizzard are looking to crack down on the latter issue with their latest changes to Priority Pass on January 15.

“Our data indicates that the Priority Pass is functioning as intended, generally providing shorter queue times for those who use them. The goal of the Priority Pass is to improve player experience and get players into matches quicker,” community manager Josh Nash told players.

“In the same vein, we don’t want this feature to have a negative impact on the quality of matches for yourself or others. We want to do our part to discourage players from intentionally losing and ruining matches for the sake of earning priority passes.”

If you lose a match while playing for passes, you’ll only gain one pass instead of two. This will stop players from just inting their games for the ticket.

Blizzard are also refunding passes to players if they queued up for a role using Priority Pass, but then had to wait longer than the estimated time for it.

Oni Genji Overwatch skin
Blizzard
These changes mean you won’t burn through your passes as quickly.

These changes are active immediately, so you can make use of them straight away. Blizzard are continuing to tweak the system as time goes on, and are “ looking into how we can better communicate when you are rewarded passes after playing a match.”