Valorant Ranked Mode Debuts – Official Release Times, Why it Was Delayed
With the recent launch of Valorant 1.2 many players and fans alike were hoping for ranked mode to release alongside it. Although it was delayed, Riot has now decided to flip the switch on ranked and release the hounds into the wilds of Valorant.
How Does Ranked Mode Work in Valorant?
Valorant’s ranked mode is unlocked after you do placement matches in 20 unrated matches. This will offer you your initial rank among eight ranks: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and Radiant.
Riot clarified that players will be able to queue up in pre-made matches with your friends, to a certain point.
“You can now matchmake with your friends during placements even if they have a fairly large skill discrepancy—to a certain extent. For example, if you’re an elite player, and your friend is still learning the ropes, our Competitive Matchmaking will still prevent you from being able to queue in order to protect the competitive integrity and experience for the other players in that match.”
Of course, these changes are subject to further change as the community continues to give Riot feedback, as they called it a “living mode.” This is a good sign compared to other games where things in the ranked mode have been fairly set in stone, such as Overwatch, which took entirely too long to make changes and lost player interest as a result.
“On that note, it’s worth saying that this ranked system is a living work in progress, so don’t stop your comments,” Riot said of future changes to the mode. “Expect us to continue to make improvements based on your feedback.”
Will the Release of Ranked Help Valorant Regain Momentum?
While Valorant got off to an extremely strong start, its viewership has been massively flagging since the game went live. This is in part due to the fact that most people were watching the game’s open beta content in hopes of gaining access to the game. However, once drops were distributed, many people spent their time playing the game rather than watching their favorite content creators play it. Add in that many content creators moved back to their native games after viewership started slumping and you have a recipe for a game that’s viewership was very quick to fall off.
This has even been true for the Ignition series, Riot’s attempt to somewhat standardize the tournament viewing experience for Valorant by partnering with various esports teams. The viewership and promotion of the first tournament, G2’s event, has been lacking, to say the least.
With ranked launching, many content creators are returning to the game and hoping to ride the wave of viewers looking to watch the highest-ranked players. It’s possible that this could help the game regain some momentum, as it did with League of Legends in its earliest days before tournaments were the norm.
The Bug That Delayed Ranked
A massive bug was discovered in Valorant yesterday that caused Riot to pause and reconsider whether they should delay the release of ranked mode. The bug, which the company describes as one that allowed players to “sometimes switch sides randomly” in-between rounds, would have completely gotten in the way of competitive integrity in the new ranked mode.
This would have been a problem for a multitude of reasons but chief among them is that players need to have confidence in the ranked experience of a new title, especially one that Riot hopes will be their next big esports title.
Teams constantly use ranked mode as a means of scouting new talent in new titles, especially when tournaments are still primarily inviting influencers and known talent from other titles. How else will the Faker of Valorant be discovered?
Valorant Ranked Release Times
- North America, Brazil, and LATAM: 2pm PST
- Europe, Russia, Turkey, and CIS: 8pm PST
- Korea, Oceania, and APAC: 1pm PST