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.
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.
There will be skill based matchmaking in unrated :).
— Ziegler (@RiotZiegler) April 4, 2020
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.
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.