Valorant has faced some criticism for the length of its matches since beta, and new OT rules could make them last even longer, which could be a problem for the still-developing pro scene.
Riot’s new FPS made massive waves when it came out from closed beta at the beginning of June, with tons of established esports pros leaving their respective scenes to try their luck in Valorant, like Overwatch League MVP Jay “Sinatraa” Won.
While a good number of newly-minted Valorant pros have come from games like CS:GO (which has had its fair share of issues with player burnout in the past), they might soon find that their new game of choice is pretty taxing, as well.
At the beginning of July, Valorant rolled out a change to its endgame format that introduced a “win-by-two” rule, which also opened the door for ranked matches to end in a draw.
The effects of this seemingly minor rule change became apparent during the match between ‘need more DM’ and ‘Team xz,’ with the first map of the matchup lasting an entire hour and two minutes of actual in-game time.
Obviously this is a long time to watch a single Valorant map, but it must seem even longer to the players who are actually participating in the match.
It’s not just pro players and ladder climbers that will have to deal with these new marathon matches, but tournament organizers too, who could definitely have a problem sticking to their set schedules if matches go the distance like NMDM and xz’s did.
That’s not saying every single match will last as long as this one did, but as teams play together and the overall quality of top-level gameplay improves they could become much more common.
As Valorant’s esports scene continues to develop and grow, unpredictably long match times will be something that tournament organizers and pros will have to contend with and, based on what we’ve seen from games like CS:GO and Overwatch, could eventually become a contributing factor to player burnout.