Riot Games’ tactical hero shooter Valorant launched in full earlier this month, but the Competitive ranked mode that had been present throughout its closed beta wasn’t included. That’s soon to change with Patch 1.02, though, which is set to launch later this week. And ahead of its launch, the developer is finally offering details on what players can expect to look forward to.
Structurally, it’s fairly similar to the beta, with the bulk of changes centered around two key areas: changes to rank iconography and names, and improved functionality that should make it easier to enjoy with friends.
First, let’s look at the new iconography, which now featured brighter colors to make it easier to distinguish ranks. You’ll notice the aesthetic of the iconography has been polished, in general, too. Also, that the top rank name is no longer Valorant — Riot has changed it to Radiant, which it says is to avoid confusion with the game name and rank name.
As for placement matches in ranked mode, Riot has made improvements that it claims will make it easier to play with teammates during placements:
“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.”
Matchmaking in general has been further optimized since the beta, too, apparently, so that regardless of your group size you should be being placed into matches that are 50/50 in fairness or better.
That doesn’t quite extend to players within the top two ranks, however, as Riot still appreciates there is work to be done to ensure that those playing solo aren’t put at a big disadvantage playing against teams of four or five.
Ranked progression will be something players can track throughout each Valorant Act, which will start as soon as Patch 1.02 is launched. A future patch will also let you dig into more detailed ranked-related stats from your match history, too. This includes information like how you’ve climbed in rank over the Act, your number of wins, along with your wins at your highest achieved rank.
Moving forward, Riot says that it acknowledges player interest in features such as leaderboards and is committed to experimenting ways to include them in the future. For the time being, though, it is focused on integrating Competitive mode successfully.
Patch 1.02 still doesn’t have a firm release date, but comments from game’s director suggest it is some time this week.
Hey everyone, It’s been hectic, so I haven’t had a lot of time to post. To answer the biggest question: rated (competitive mode) will likely be out some time next week. We’re spending this week putting together that release and making sure it is good. =)— Ziegler (@RiotZiegler) June 15, 2020
For Valorant newcomers, do check out Twinfinite’s detailed beginners tips & tricks guide.