Valorant Episode 2 Developer stream roundup: leaderboards, Yoru, Battle Pass & more

Published: 11/Jan/2021 21:42 Updated: 11/Jan/2021 22:11

by Bill Cooney


It’s just about time for Valorant Episode 2 to start up. With just a day before things kick off the game’s developers filled us in on what’s coming our way, and we’ve got the full rundown on everything that got covered.

Each Episode in Valorant is made up of three Acts, with each Act lasting around two months and coming with its own Battle Pass, and other content like maps and Agents released sporadically as well.

The big news to start Episode 2 is the release of the newest Agent: the stealthy Duelist Yoru, but there’s plenty of other content that was covered, so let’s dive right in and take a look at what they went over.

Leaderboards finally coming to Valorant

First up in the hot seats across from host Tyler ‘FionnOnFire’ Erzberger were the Competitive team made up of devs Jon Walker and Ian Fielding, who revealed that ranked leaderboards would finally be arriving with the start of Episode 2 (and not in 2022, thank goodness).

With the launch of Episode 2 there will be an in-client leaderboard available for everyone, and it will be unique for each region,” Fielding said. “Also, just a day after the patch we’ll have a web leaderboard coming out as well.”

The leaderboard will be updated in real-time, so players won’t have to wait around to see any changes, but will only list players ranked Immortal+, who make up less than 1% of the current player population.

Changes to the “arrow” system in Valorant’s ranked mode were also discussed, and if you want to read all about what’s happening there just check out our article that explains it all. Over the course of Episode 2, Fielding added, devs also hope to “manage and improve” how they deal with AFK players.

Map Changes

Icebox B Site
Riot Games
Icebox was the most recent Valorant map released.

On the map side of things, no new stages were outright revealed or announced, but stage designer Joseph Ziegler hinted that it’s “not unlikely” we could see another new map released before Episode 3 rolls around.

Devs admitted that Icebox can be a “difficult map to pick up” so they want to give it a little time to be played on before making any drastic change, but were open to the idea going forward.

Yoru — repositioning with a dash of stealth

Despite his apparently powerful kit, Devs said that the community reaction to Valorant’s newest Agent Yoru has been mostly positive from what they’ve seen so far.

Yoru will release on January 12 with the start of Season 2, and you can read all about his stealthy abilities right here. While his design started out a purely stealth-focused character, he eventually morphed into an Agent who relies on repositioning by using the ability to hide to help.

“We wanted to create a character focused on repositioning, and used stealth as a means to that end,” Character Lead Max Grossman explained. “We have this Duelist, kind of aggressive infiltrator character.”

Upcoming Episode 2 Battle Pass info

Finally, it was the Premium Content team’s turn to talk about what’s coming for Episode 2’s Battle Passes. Some of the biggest news was a bit of a letdown though, with Art Lead Sean Marino revealing that we shouldn’t expect Agent skins “anytime soon.”

Along with the new character releasing, there will of course be plenty of Yoru-themed cosmetics and content coming with the first Battle Pass of Episode 2, as well as some flashy new weapon skins and much more.

There you have it, our rundown of the top points from Valorant’s pre-Episode 2 Dev stream on January 11. If you want to watch the whole thing for yourself, you can check out the VOD right here.

Episode 2, Act 1 gets going on Tuesday, January 12 with the release of Yoru and the start of the brand new Battle Pass, so get ready, and we’ll see you on the battlefield.


Overwatch’s tank mains want nerfs as Echo & Zenyatta make ranked “hell”

Published: 15/Jan/2021 20:44

by Michael Gwilliam


Overwatch tanks have been on the receiving end of some major nerfs lately with Sigma and Wrecking Ball on the chopping block, but now players are calling for changes to two heroes responsible for making ranked “hell” for them.

Tanks in Overwatch are critical pieces of any team composition and while they’ve seemed overpowered for quite some time, now, Echo and Zenyatta seem to be on the receiving end of fury from the playerbase.

Notably, Echo’s ability to delete targets with ease thanks to her ammo count and powerful Focusing Beam makes her a dangerous foe while Zenyatta’s Discord Orb shreds tanks.

When applied, Discord Orb causes an opponent to receive 30% extra damage. As such, large health pool tanks can be obliterated when focused down thanks to Zen’s utility.

Echo using Focusing Beam
Blizzard Entertainment
Echo has a lot of tools to be a pain for enemy teams.

Players on Reddit have been vocal in calling for changes. “Tanks f**king suck to play right now and the sigma nerfs just solidified that for me,” wrote user HaMx_Platypus.

“None of the tanks actually feel like tanks at all when you’re going up against 30% Discord,” they added.

Redditors chimed in with their own thoughts. “Completely agree, Discord should be taken back down to 25% at least,” one wrote.

Zenyatta attacks

“Echo’s issue is that her clip is too big,” another pointed out. “The Sticky [cool down] doesn’t matter, the issue is she can often use them again before having to reload.”

“It’s bonkers that she can combine all 3 abilities (right click, throw out a few left clicks and then immediately use beam) to stack the damage, as it will literally kill any hero in the game if you land the stickies,” a fan blasted.

Another took their criticism of Echo and Discord to another level. “Discord is simply too powerful. It’s literally like 6 Mercy boosts at a time and 90% of the time that’s going onto the main tank. Plus you add the spam damage that Zen does and it’s just unreal,” they slammed.

“Echo was poorly designed. I couldn’t tell upon release but it’s much clearer now. She just has too many tank-busting abilities and not enough punishability,” the user further remarked.

With so many players voicing their frustration, it may be a sign for Blizzard to consider some slight nerfs on the Experimental Mode in the coming weeks.