Valorant players are asking for changes to the competitive system in Act III. Riot reduced the “ranked window” from six tiers to three, citing “tighter matchmaking,” but this has reduced the capacity for friends to queue up together.
The changes in Act III mean that, for example, Iron I players can no longer team up with their Bronze II friends in competitive play.
While this makes a positive difference to players at the upper echelons of the ladder – as Plat III players will no longer be subjected to getting slaughtered by people in Immortal II – it’s had a negative impact on some sections of the more casual/lower ranked player base.
One player claimed he can no longer play with his friends as their ranks are too far spread for them to team up.
Some players also argue it also encourages smurfing, as high-ranked players create new accounts so they can play with friends. Riot has recently explained their plans to reduce smurfing.
While unrated play exists, this player believes “there is less to play for,” implying Riot may need to find a balance between competitive edge and casual inclusion.
What Valorant developers can do to fix the problem
Riot has a couple of options in fixing this. They could apply some aspects of the ranked system in League of Legends by introducing a dedicated team play ladder, separate from the ranked ladder.
One person suggested creating an exception for those who team up as a premade five. This would increase queue times for those players, but it’s likely a sacrifice casual players would be willing to make in order to play with friends.
It would be easily balanced, too, if premade 5s could only face other premade 5s.
No option is perfect but, as a game in its infancy, Valorant cannot afford to drive away any part of its player base.