Valorant Release Date, Additional Maps Announced
Riot’s hot new tactical FPS Valorant has been given a release date, and it’s far sooner than any of us expected: June 2. The reasoning behind this seems to be a want for Riot to get the game into the hands of as many people as possible as soon as possible, so they can continue live development of the game.
Valorant Heads to Live Servers Quickly
“Our goal has always been to bring Valorant to as much of the world as soon as possible, so we’re hyped to be able to do so on June 2,” said Anna Donlon, executive producer of Valorant at Riot Games. “The team looks forward to starting our decades-long commitment to servicing the global Valornat community. This is just the beginning of our journey together.”
The game averaged a staggering three million players per day during the closed beta. For reference, Overwatch had 9.7 million players during the entire period of its beta, and that one was far less restrictive than Riot’s title.
Valorant will be heading to live with many new features, including a new, unreleased game mode, a new agent, as well as a sorely needed new map.
New Map, Agent, and Game Mode Coming
While details have been scant about Riot’s offerings post-release of Valorant, we do know a couple of things about them.
The new game mode, currently unrevealed as far as names go, was said to be a shorter, more casual game mode to play in between the first to 13 round maps. Not much else was revealed, aside from at present, it is not Team Deathmatch. This leaves several options, including the popular Gun Game of Call of Duty fame, for the developers to be possibly pursuing.
Secondly, a new map will be coming to Valorant, though not much is currently known about it. This will bring the game’s total up to four, something that’s desperately needed for not only game variety while playing, but should also keep the experience fresh for viewers on casual and esports streams. The summer Valorant release date should also mean that we’re about to see an influx of esports team signings as well as official tournaments from organizers like ESL, Beyond the Summit, and Dreamhack popping up any day now.
Thirdly, a new Agent was hinted at by the Spanish Valorant twitter account. The account showed off an impressive splash art of every Agent in the game thus far, but eagle-eyed viewers quickly noticed that an 11th Agent’s shoe is visible on the far end of the image.
Many have noted that this 11th Agent may be a healer, due to Sage being the only Agent on the roster with a direct heal and resurrection ability.
Why Such a Short Closed Beta?
Riot’s penchant for releases tends to throw caution to the wind in general. Both Teamfight Tactics and Legends of Runeterra launched after beta periods, either in their client or through the Public Beta Environment in TFT’s case.
It seems that Riot is following the same philosophy here, despite having several key issues to work on still, including the anti-cheat system. Riot admitted that they have been far from perfect off the block with the Riot Vanguard system.
“We haven’t been perfect out the gate, but owning our own technology is what lets us be fast and communicative in our development—when you were concerned about Vanguard being on all the time, we put in a feature so you could disable it until needed,” Riot said in their announcement. “When we blocked vulnerable drivers that cheaters were using to smuggle their software in, we also ended up blocking drivers that were helping you monitor the temperature of your computer, so we went back to the drawing board.”
Despite this, Riot says that they will be turning on the auto-banning systems for the game at launch. They say they can do this because they studied how cheaters were influencing the game, and have banned thousands of users. These bans have even been said to possibly influence banning decisions in Riot’s other titles in the future, hopefully, to deter cheaters from even considering the possibility.
“Come launch, we will be more aggressive, widespread, and automated in our ability to detect and ban cheaters,” Riot concluded. “As a final reminder: as with any game, our guarantee isn’t that Valorant will be cheat free, it’s that our commitment to anti-cheat doesn’t end when you forget about it.”
Additionally, Riot has been clear that they will have a zero-tolerance policy on hate speech and other disruptive behavior in the game.
“Almost everyone playing Valorant wants to compete without fear of harassment or disruption, and it’s on us to provide you the tools and community to guarantee that kind of experience. We also know that to live up to our values and to help you play your best every match, we have to demonstrate this commitment every day – particularly at launch and beyond.”
To that end, Riot is committing to doing the following, according to their “Are we ready for launch?” blog:
- Clear community expectations for all Valorant players
- Improved automation to handle reporting including:
- Automated chat analysis for blatant violations of our community code
- Automated analysis of reports and escalation of common offenders for punishment
- 72 hour team chat restrictions for behavior violations
- 72 hour team voice restrictions for behavior violations
The Riot team seems ready to rock for a June 2 Valorant release date. But do you think they are ready? Let us know on Twitter @talk_esports!