Valorant Ranked Faces Serious Problems With No Current Ownership of It at Riot

by in Valorant | Jul, 16th 2020

Valorant may be off to a hot start, but it could quickly cool if issues with its ranked mode and other glaring problems reported daily from its player base aren’t fixed.

Players Left Baffled at How Valorant’s Ranked Mode Functions

One of the main problems affecting Valorant ranked play is that it’s extremely unclear how rankups function, with very little information in the game about how close you are to your next rankup.

One player highlighted this issue in a recent Reddit thread entitled “No uprank?”

“Still no uprank… But when I lose twice with like 13/11 in a row, then its instant downrank,” TheGaijin1987 said on Reddit. “Weird system. I totally wanna see points cos this doesn’t make any sense.”

Indeed, Valorant doesn’t display any indication when you are close to your next rank, instead of relying on a hidden “performance” factor to decide when you rank up. As another user put it in response: “Honestly, every promotion I’ve gotten bar one has been on a 13-4 or lower, and it barely mattered the previous games behind it, as long as I wasn’t stomped recently that is,” one player said. “As annoying as this’ll sound, I imagine if you get a game where you smash the other team with a good scoreline, you’ll rank up incredibly fast.”

Riot previously said that your performance and how much you win by are the biggest factors in how you rank up, but it seems that slider may have been pushed a little bit too harsh as sare player winning by margins of nine rounds and having little to no effect on their rank.

The Valorant Ranked Ship, Adrift

And even worse? There’s no one steering the ship right now. Ryan “Morrello” Scott, Riot’s lead character designer, claims there’s no one in charge of the ranked program right now, with the original designer for it having left Riot recently.

“Who do we talk to about the ranked system? Sadly the answer is nobody right now. So, I’m gonna be real with yall,” Morello said. “So the person that worked on the ranked system from a design standpoint left the company. Nobody owns the ranked system right now, which is a huge problem. We’re trying to figure out how to resolve that right now. Most of the questions I get, about agents, or maps, what have you – we can talk about it, I can tell you things about it, there’s a back and forth. Ranked is a huge amount of players having questions, or suggestions on how things should work, or just complaining about how it works, and we can’t do anything about it, and trying to fix it in the short term before we can fix it in the long term.”

No one is steering the ship at present. That presents a huge challenge for the design team, who have now had to figure out how the current system works and design a new solution in the short term to address complaints before players get disillusioned and stop playing the game.

How Long Can Valorant Ranked Float Without a Captain?

Why is this a problem? Games that have had issues with their ranked system, especially at or around their launch, have a big problem. The players who get good enough at the game to progress and want to take it serious on a competitive level need to be able to have a good sense of where their progression is at. If they feel like they are getting better and are winning games by what feels like a wide margin, the game should reflect this by rewarding the player with a sense of growth by ranking up. Without that, it can feel a bit like you’re running in place.

This happened when Overwatch first came out and before the implementation of skill rating. The ranks were on a scale of 1-100 with leveling up, and it was very unclear how much each win or loss was going to affect your rank. While many players did tough it out until the ranked changes were implemented, who knows how many hundreds of thousands of players dropped the game altogether after getting frustrated with the ranked experience?

Valorant is already starting to stall out in terms of interest from the general audience. A lot of the hype around during the game’s beta has not carried over. Many of the game’s tournaments fail to break the 100,000 viewer margin, despite veterans coming in from other games like Overwatch and CS:GO, who should give the game some star power.

With the game losing its “exclusive” sheen from the closed beta and a reward for getting in by watching streamers play, the Twitch audience at least has somewhat moved on. Combine this with a player base who has to play a significant amount of games to unlock ranked mode to only find a mode that’s half baked, and you have a recipe for players abandoning the game en masse before it’s even really hit its stride.

Perhaps Riot should have kept the game in closed beta for a bit longer while they continued to work on the ranked mode and ensured that everything was functional. But, no use crying over spilled milk (or betas, in this case.) All that’s left is for Riot to fix the issues that players see before it’s too late.


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