Valorant is currently in closed beta, but most players are already looking forward to entering the ranked matchmaking queue. Riot’s not new to the concept of competitive ranking, plus they already have a solid reference in the form of League of Legend’s own ranked queues. This time, we’re going to share our insights on Valorant’s ranking system.
Some people mistake ranked systems as nothing more than bragging right. Well, it’s partially that but it wouldn’t be fair to dismiss the other good points of having a ranked system in place, especially for a game like Valorant.
Simply playing match after match of Valorant seems like a pointless thing. With a ranked system, you will have something that you can actually track as you put in more time to the game. Seeing your rank go up or down can be considered a type of progression, giving you a sense of reward.
Yes, games are meant to be played for fun, but many competitive gamers find fun in winning. In ranked mode, you get fewer players that are just goofing off. Everybody is expected to play to win in a ranked game… Unless you are de-ranking on purpose (tip: don’t do that).
In non-ranked queue, players will often encounter enemies that are significantly better than them. This could result in one-sided stomps that are anything but fun for the losing team. With ranked queue, rank tier limitations will keep matches mostly even, barring the occasional smurf account.
Don’t get us wrong; unranked games are still a good matchmaking queue. However, if you want to take your game to the next level, playing in ranked queue is the way to go.
Valorant’s ranking system is heavily based on League of Legend’s tiered ranked ladder. Everybody starts out as unranked players until they have finished a series of placement matches. Depending on the result, players will be placed in a specific tier, starting their climb.
Here are the game’s different tiers, starting from the lowest ranks.
League’s system has most of its players in Silver and Gold tiers. Based on that, we’re expecting most Valorant players initially getting placed in Veteran or Hero tiers, with a very small minority instantly getting placed in Legend.
Even players in the same tier have some degree of order in the form of divisions. Going back to our League of Legends comparison, the MOBA’s tiers are divided into four ranks; Valorant’s tiers will only be divided into three. There are no exact values yet, but we’re also expecting that players have to earn 100 points (this game’s equivalent of LP) before they climb up a division.
A lot of people have varying predictions about the existence of a “promo series”. In LoL, players who earn 100LP have to win 3 out of 5 promotion matches before they can finally move up a division or tier. We don’t have any confirmation as to whether Valorant will have the same mechanic or if 100-point players will automatically move up.
Being a team-based shooter, it’s natural to want to climb the ranked queue with teammates you can trust. In LoL, players have the option to bring a friend in solo/duo queue, or queue with a larger premade in flex queue. To prevent issues with team stacking, the matchmaking system makes sure that both teams get equally-sized premade groups.
As of this writing, Riot hasn’t released concrete info on how ranked queue will work. However, most people are expecting Valorant to adapt LoL’s ranked matchmaking system. After all, this game still pits people in 5v5 matches.
One of the things that we are sure about is that the game’s ranked queue will have competitive seasons. At the end of a season, everybody’s ranked is finalized and the queue will be disabled. Depending on how far a player has climbed, they can receive various types of cosmetic rewards.
While seasons are a sure thing, there’s no confirmation on how long a season will last. Most competitive first-person shooters like Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege have short seasons (about 3-4 months at best), while CSGO (the closest game to Valorant) doesn’t have seasonal periods. LoL has a yearly season going on, but since the game is under a completely different genre, Riot might not adapt that particular aspect of ranked play into Valorant.
Games with competitive seasons tend to have “off-season” periods when ranked matchmaking is temporarily disabled. Valorant players can take this time to take a break from the climb or put more hours into practice for a better climb next year.
Early in April, Valorant’s official Twitter account posted this bit of crucial info:
An early version of the ranked matchmaking queue will be implemented soon for closed beta testers to try out. To help test out the system more effectively, Riot also announced that they have upgraded server capacity and planned to release more closed beta keys. If you’re one of the lucky players that have a key, it’s the perfect time to get a feel of how ranked matches will go!
That sums up our overview of Valorant’s ranking system. As the game nears its official launch, we’re expecting ranked queues to undergo a few tweaks before it goes live. Stick with us as we keep you updated on the latest info about Valorant! Got your own speculations about how ranked games will turn out? Let us know in the comments section!