Will Valorant have skill-based matchmaking in unranked play? - Dexerto

Will Valorant have skill-based matchmaking in unranked play?

Published: 6/Apr/2020 4:32

by Brad Norton


Valorant game director Joe Ziegler has revealed whether or not skill-based matchmaking will impact unranked games in Riot’s new FPS title.

Skill-based matchmaking has long been a controversial talking point in the competitive gaming landscape, from Fortnite pros suggesting it was the reason the game was ‘ruined,’ to Apex Legends players demanding it be removed entirely.


It’s therefore no surprise those eager to get their hands on Valorant have been waiting with bated breath to hear how SBMM might impact the new game too.

Riot Games
Skill-based matchmaking could play a huge role in Valorant.

Ziegler and Valorant Executive Producer, Anna Donlon, sat down to discuss all things Valorant with Ben ‘Dr Lupo’ Lupo on April 4. From the total number of Agents at launch, to the philosophy behind certain design choices, the duo touched on a great deal. However, they glossed over one crucial topic – matchmaking. 


Twitter user ‘TheQweets’ posed a question that wasn’t quite fleshed out during the interview: whether or not Valorant will incorporate SBMM in unranked games.

“There will be skill based matchmaking in unrated,” Ziegler responded soon after. Unrated is an alternate label for unranked gameplay in Valorant.

Not beating around the bush as many devs have in the past when it comes to SBMM, he outright confirmed unranked playlists will, in fact, be influenced by skill.


Winning a number of games back to back could land you in a lobby full of other players with high-win percentages. The same can be said for losing consecutive games.

SBMM is in place to ensure that matches are as evenly balanced as possible, placing you alongside and against players of similar skill. 

While many often turn to ranked playlists for a more finely-tuned competition, even unranked modes will still provide a SBMM-influenced experience in Valorant.

Viper on Bind's Reactor Site A in Valorant.
Riot Games
You’ll have to keep your wits about you, even in unranked Valorant matches.

Other factors may come into play for unranked modes in Valorant, and there may even be a strictly-casual playlist if the demand is there. For the time being, however, SBMM will leave its mark on the FPS title.

In the lead up to the next beta testing period, here’s a rundown on everything you need to know about Valorant, including the release date and more. 


Valorant First Strike Europe qualifiers: Schedule, eligibility, format

Published: 7/Oct/2020 17:06

by Jacob Hale


Valorant developers Riot Games have announced First Strike: Europe, the first-ever Valorant tournament wholly produced by Riot, set to kick off in November with some of the region’s best talent.

Since Valorant launched in June, it has become one of the most exciting games in esports, with players from all different titles migrating to Riot’s first-ever FPS. Some of the biggest competitors from the likes of Overwatch, CSGO and more are looking to make a name for themselves in the new shooter.


As a result, we’ve already seen some incredible talent, tense moments and top performances in a competitive setting, but now it’s becoming a little more official with the announcement of this highly-anticipated tournament.

So, with First Strike: Europe around the corner, here’s everything you need to know to tune in to the tournament, and even get involved yourself.

Valorant First Strike art
Riot Games
First Strike is the first Valorant tournament organized entirely by developer Riot Games.

Valorant First Strike: Europe schedule

Open qualifiers for First Strike take place from November 9-22, giving teams around two weeks to stave off the best competition in the region and qualify for the main event.

The schedule for Open Qualifiers will be as follows:

  • Week 1
    • November 9-10: Qualifier A
    • November 11-12: Qualifier B
    • November 13: Play-In #1
    • November 14-15: Playoffs
  • Week 2
    • November 16-17: Qualifier C
    • November 18-19: Qualifier D
    • November 20: Play-In #2
    • November 21-22: Playoffs
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule.

After qualifiers have concluded, the main stage will be held from December 3-6. Here are the dates for each part of the main event:

  • December 3-4: Quarterfinals
  • December 5: Semifinals
  • December 6: Final
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule.

Eligibility for Valorant First Strike: Europe

As the name suggests, the Open Qualifiers for the tournament are open to (almost) anybody. You don’t have to be a pro player to sign up, but you have to be over the age of 16 and you will need to reach the rank of Immortal 1 by the time you register.

Riot haven’t specified how people can apply and register for the tournament yet, but advise in their announcement that full rules for the event and how to apply will be available in the coming weeks — and we’ll be sure to update this page as soon as we know.

Valorant First Strike: Europe tournament format

Valorant Icebox act 3 new map
Riot Games
Will we see much of new Act III map Icebox in the First Strike tournament?

The tournament format is fairly simple to follow throughout, from the qualifiers right up to the main event. Here’s how the single-elimination tournament works:

  • Qualifiers and Play-Ins: Best of 1
  • Playoffs: Best of 3
  • Quarterfinals and semifinals: Best of 3
  • Finals: Best of 5

With best of 1s in qualifiers and play-ins we might see some upsets, but finishing the tournament on a best of 5 means we really will see the two best teams in Europe fight it out and showcase their talent across all maps, proving how much they’ve mastered the game so far.

With G2 Esports undoubtedly the strongest team in the region since competition started, the main question now is whether they can prove it in Valorant’s biggest tournament yet.