VALORANT News: Streaming
Sat, May 9, 2020
From Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won to Jaryd ‘Summit1g’ Lazar. Why are players and streamers going pro or thinking of going pro in Valorant?
There are a plethora of reasons why Valorant is gaining so much attention right now from the creative direction of Riot to the lack of a true FPS team shooter. Yes, there is Overwatch, COD, and Rainbow 6 but none of those games provide the true team based game-play that CS:GO provides.
Overwatch does fit the bill but the ever changing metas and the now 2-2-2 composition requirements forces even the most skilled players to play something they may not be used to playing. Imagine playing CS, Quake, Unreal, Halo, and then playing Overwatch. The game is fantastic on many levels but if you are a pro that is forced into a Tank/Healer role, you may not be completely fulfilled. Reinhardt, a main tank in Overwatch, is a prime example of a "boring" role. For 60 percent of matches, your main goal is to hold up a shield to protect your team. Every so often you will throw out a fire strike or dash in and try to smash the opponent with your war hammer. But for the majority of the match, you are a walking shield. There is a tremendous amount of skill involved even though it may not seem like it but imaging being a pro and practicing this 6 days a week and 10 hours a day.
Valorant does have agents with special abilities that play various roles. However, even the healer agent Sage can have the same weapon as your front-line agent. So even if you are a support or control role, you can let your tactical skills shine. Valorant is a pure shooter at heart like CS:GO but with a bit of Overwatch abilities sprinkled in.
CS:GO did, and still does, fulfill that need/niche, but it has become stagnant and harder to compete in. Many CS:GO players typically turn to streaming instead of playing competitive for a bit more flexibility. Once Valve develops the Source 2 engine, CS might be born again.
The majority of the shooter style games that have come out in the last 5 years have been Battle Royale games. Battle Royal games don't have a very extensive, organized esports community and the community is slightly toxic and disorganized. All games will have some level of player toxicity, but it seems games like Fortnite and PUBG have a bit more than usual.
Riot is a well known and established company that is built for esports and their games are known to have a huge following and be extremely competitive.
Keep in mind that we are still in a closed beta and we have professional teams forming and various players already switching over to Valorant. Every disgruntled professional gamer or bored professional streamer may want to jump at the opportunity to get in early and establish themselves in a game that is going to be big.
Big games with many players equals many viewers on Twitch, YouTube, Mixer etc etc. So even if you play Valorant and aren't very good, with the right amount of grinding and luck, you might be able to create a following for yourself if you have the right personality. It might not be going pro, but it might provide you some side cash or a modest living.
Think of Valorant as a new stock. Good chance of success since the team behind the stock is solid. Always best to get in early. It is a form of gaming arbitrage.
Sinatraa is an extreme example. I would imagine if you were one of the best players in your game, you would stick around since you were getting paid a six figure salary + endorsements. It is rare for a top of the line player to suddenly leave to pick up another game but it seems that Overwatch just didn't bring enough joy for him to stick around.
Many lower tier pro players are switching over to Valorant, as well. That is expected. Other games including Overwatch and Rainbow 6 just don't have the stream numbers and lower tier players make little to no money so it is best to try something new.
Will someone like Summit1g actually go pro again in Valorant after being a pro streamer for so long? He mentioned that Valorant got his "competitive" juices going but it is highly doubtful. The top line streamers like Shroud and Summit1g make so much more streaming that the effort to go pro probably isn't worth it for them.
We expect Valorant to be enormous. Free to play, low system requirements, and tons of hype all fuel its popularity. Until Valve releases Source 2 and polishes a new version of Counter-Strike, Valorant will be the game to beat in terms of popularity and esports competitiveness.
Fri, May 1, 2020
How is rank determined in Competitive mode? Joe Ziegler, VALORANT Game Director, provided additional details about how you’re “seeded in rated” mode in a series of Tweets on May 1st.
Performance is measured on an individual level. VALORANT takes into account a number of factors outside of just wins, including how you fare against similar and more highly rated players.
For a deep dive into the Ranked System, read our ourview from Competitive mode’s reveal, here.
Mon, Apr 27, 2020
It seems that developers have been churning out FPS games at a staggering pace over the last decade or so. However, only a handful have stayed relevant over the years. The one game that comes to mind is Counter Strike and all of its variants. From CS 1.6 as far back as 2000 to CS:GO now, CS has been a staple in the team based competitive shooter scene and is considered the gold standard for this genre. It is essentially what games such as Valorant and Rainbow 6 Siege are striving to become.
How has CS stayed on top?
- Skill. All players, regardless of experience, have the same weapons/controls and there is no pay to win advantage. There is always a bit of RNG as with all games, but skill is still by far the determining factor in winning/losing.
- Team Dynamics. CS was one of the first games that emphasized team play and different roles. It is important to have superstar play makers but rarely does one player outweigh the importance of proper team play.
- Round Lengths. Battle Royale style games are all the rage still but there is a large segment of gamers that prefers the shorter round matches. This keeps things fresh and engaging. 20-30 minute games just aren’t for everyone.
- Maps. Balanced maps and map design are extremely important. CS has had the benefit of 20+ years of trial and error and millions of hours of playtime to perfect its most popular maps. You don’t want a map that heavily favors one side or another or that is complicated to figure out.
- Skins. Cosmetics and visual addons has fueled CS:GO. It has been instrumental and extremely important from a profitability standpoint as well helping players stay engaged with the game.
- Computer Requirements. CS has always been a computer friendly game. Most PCs can probably run CS in some playable fashion assuming you have a semi decent video card.
- Free to Play. This has kept CS:GO popular since...who doesn’t like free?
Valorant is trying to duplicate the CS franchise but they want to go a step further. From just looking at the gameplay without the special abilities, it seems very similar to CS and you would be right. Each gun has its own special pros and cons, rounds are fairly short, and there is a period that allows you to purchase weapons/abilities at the start of every round. It even seems that the majority of CS pros have found success playing Valorant during this beta run and that should not be surprising to anyone. However, the addition of special abilities, further game development, and the promise of faster servers and seamless gameplay have made Valorant one of the most anticipated games of the year.
In Valorant, you can control an agent of your choice and each agent has a special role and abilities that hopefully complements the rest of your team. From resurrecting and healing allies, to shooting wall hack arrows that reveal enemies, the possibilities are endless. These agent classes give a bit of spice to the typical CS:GO team where all players are exactly identical except for different cosmetics. The gameplay and shooting is fairly similar, but the agent classes adds another layer of tactical skill and specialization skill that CS doesn’t offer. It allows for more team composition varieties and tactical exploration.
Valorant also is hoping to provide the fastest servers and most seamless gaming experience. Short wait times and low pings are what most gamers look for and Riot is hoping to deliver. It is rare when a developer emphasizes exemplary coding as a main. There is nothing more frustrating than shots that don’t register or long wait queues to play.
By making this game free to play, Riot is trying to get as many players as possible and this is also apparent by looking at the graphics and hardware requirements. Minimum requirements are Intel i3-370M and Intel HD 3000. That means that most $300 laptops should be able to run this or even 5 year old desktops. While you may not get 240FPS, the game will be playable and the more players that play, the better for Riot. One of the reasons CS:GO has stuck around is the cosmetics and Riot is trying to capitalize on the exact same thing with their new in-game store. Large amounts of players with optional in-game cosmetic purchases has proven to be a printing press for money.
Riot has also emphasized anti-cheat and development as important cornerstones of the game. Cheating is self explanatory. While it is frustrating getting stomped on by a team of good players, nothing grinds my gears more than cheaters. Cheaters ruin the experience for players on both teams and are in essence wasting everyone’s precious time. Valorant has run into cheaters already during this Beta test (Shroud documented a cheater in one of his games on youtube). This is a beta run so we’ll let it slide for now. Hopefully, Riot can clean it up a bit by the time the game officially launches.
Constant improvements and updates will also be a breath of fresh air. One major issue with CS:GO is that it has seemed stagnant for the last decade or so besides the cosmetics store. The most popular maps are played over and over again and there hasn’t been anything groundbreaking new development/official gameplay. You don’t fix what’s not broken but we hope Riot treats their first entry into the FPS world seriously and gives players, new and old reason, to be excited going forward.
Is Valorant a subtle rip off of CS? Probably a bit. The weapons, maps, objectives, and overall style is very similar. But the new feature abilities and promise of optimization/development will hopefully push this game to the next echelon of not only casual, but competitive gaming. Riot has been able to sit back and see what works and take cues from games such as CS and Overwatch to improve their product. With a strong development team, an overall positive response to the beta so far, and the deep pockets of Riot, we expect this game to be not only polished, but extremely fun to play. We look forward to the official launch.
Sun, Apr 26, 2020
Grammy winning DJ, record producer, and songwriter, Zedd, played VALORANT in his first ever gaming stream on Twitch.
After the DJ’s broadcast of a September stop of his Orbit tour in San Francisco, Zedd played VALORANT with the stream peaking at 41,000 viewers!
Squadding up with former Overwatch pro, emongg and a crew of others, Zedd streamed for several hours while in a Discord voice chat with teammates.
Despite it being his first stream, he was miraculously able to keep answering questions and read comments from his chat while playing.
Surprisingly, Zedd is a very good VALORANT player with excellent aim, positioning, and use of abilities. He has played Overwatch in the past, and mentioned playing a lot of Counter-Strike: Source when he was younger.
After being asked if he ever considered playing professionally, Zedd revealed he actually played on a CS: Source team representing his state many years ago. His ease in sniping, callouts to teammates, peeking, and use of the pistol definitely back up his claims.
Zedd played a number of games as Jett. When asked if he’s a Jett main, Zedd said he thinks Jett and Viper are the weakest characters in the game. He believes Jett’s ability to get out of situations is nice and that’s why he continues to play as her. Zedd’s favorite Agent is Omen, but he hasn’t had a chance to play as Omen yet.
After hitting some nice headshots, Zedd yelled, “OOOH BABY!” Seems like he’s got a new tagline there!
A number of streamers and other celebs dropped by in chat including Dillion Francis and Overwatch League pro Linkzr. Dillion apparently plays VALORANT too, so it seems like he and Zedd may play together one day. When asked, Zedd said he’d be open to playing VALORANT with Twitch streamer, XQC, too.
After saying thanks and goodbye to his audience for the night, Zedd and his viewers raided streamer and Overwatch League coach CurryShot who was celebrating a birthday. A celebratory end to an amazing first stream of music and VALORANT on Twitch.
Check out Zedd’s Twitch channel for his next stream, here.
Sat, Apr 25, 2020
VALORANT devs surprised fans with the formal announcement of competitive matchmaking and ranked gameplay in an upcoming “Rated Mode” available as soon as the week of April 26th in the Closed Beta.
In a blog post, Senior Producer, Ian “Brighteyz” Fielding and Senior Designer, Sean “Drevarius” Szopinski from the VALORANT Competitive team detailed how the ranking system works.
Rated Mode, as the competitive mode is called, is very much a work in progress that will be tweaked throughout the Closed Beta. An outline of how competitive mode will work:
- Complete 20 Unrated matches to unlock Competitive mode
- 8 ranks, 3 tiers each, except the top rank, VALORANT
- Queue with up to 5-player parties, must be within 2 ranks
- Rank isn’t displayed if competitive matches aren’t played within 14 days, but your rank doesn’t decay behind the scenes.
The eight levels of rank, each divided into three tiers are: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and the highest rank — VALORANT.
Competitive integrity has been factored into Rated Mode, as well.
The system looks at a player’s total performance, not just wins or losses, to better detect smurfs, prevent rank boosting, and to give an accurate display of your skill.
Devs are also working on a way to add some sort of Rank Progression system that acknowledges accomplishments in the game for all ranks, outside of just the match rank display. This is a great move to keep the most competitive players engaged with the game beyond reaching their desired match rank.
It’s important to note that Closed Beta rank does not carry over into the game’s official launch, sometime in Summer 2020.
The blog post stated, “Competitive mode will be available soon after patch 0.49…”
VALORANT game director, Joe Ziegler, tweeted at the time the blog post was released on April 24th,
“[...] the next patch will be 0.49. Rated mode will go live as soon as we’re confident in the stability of that patch on live. Current ETA for 0.49 is sometime next week. Will let you know more specifics as we get closer.”
Are you excited for Rated Mode?
Read the full blog post for all of the details here.
Fri, Apr 24, 2020
Esports pros, former pros and streamers from nearly every FPS scene battled in the ESPN Esports VALORANT Invitational.
CS:GO, Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite, PUBG, Apex Legends and even League of Legends were represented, as well as a team of highly skilled VALORANT devs (some former CS:GO pros and map designers themselves).
Team Mirage (CS:GO): Skadoodle, AZK, Brax, N0thing & Hiko
Team Heroes (Overwatch): Emongg, Boostio, Gale, Kephrii & Carter
Team Six (Rainbow Six Siege): rampy, Thinkingnade, Canadian, NVK, Necrox
Team Rift (League of Legends): DoubleLift, Xmithie, Shiphtur, Imaqtpie, Dyrus & Rivington (who subbed in for DoubleLift)
Team Canyon (Apex Legends): Kellar, SYncDez, aceu, dizzy & Mendo
Team Llama (Fortnite): Joseph, Thwifo, Psalm, HighSky, XXIF
Team Battlegrounds (PUBG): Vegas, Venerated, Valliate, Yaboidre, Sharky & Coach: 7Teen
Team Dev (VALORANT Developers): Ntt, Penguin, Nick "Nickwu" Wu, Bobby "excal" Prochnow, Sal "Volcano" Garozzo
Going into the 3-day event, Team Mirage (made up of CS:GO pros) and Team Dev (VALORANT Developers) were heavy favorites two win it all. Team Mirage had won a few other Invitationals since the launch of the Closed Beta.
The entire tournament was a highlight reel of high tier gameplay. The most fascinating matches of the tournament were the Semifinal between Team Mirage and Team Dev and the Final between Team Mirage and Team Canyon.
Team Canyon pulled out the upset of the tournament taking out Team Mirage in the final. Keller, Mendo, and aceu soared in the 3 map final to secure the championship.
Watch the VOD of the Finals here.
Wed, Apr 22, 2020
Riot Games announced they are taking down EU and NA VALORANT servers to roll out Patch 0.47+ during the Closed Beta.
EU matchmaking servers went down at 3:30AM CEST on April 22, then were turned off. Servers were restored at 9AM CEST.
NA matchmaking went down at 4:30AM PDT on April 22, then servers went offline at 6AM PDT. Servers came back up at 10AM PDT.
VALORANT devs pleased fans by releasing full patch notes! In an era where some game devs have decided against releasing any patch notes at all, the clarity here is helpful.
A number of Gameplay, Balance, Map Updates, Quality of Life and Bug Fixes are included. Most notably a nerf to Raze, a slight buff to Sage’s Slow Orb, double melee damage to destructibles, fixing Cypher’s Spycam weapon using exploit, exploits on Bind, Haven and Split maps, and reducing outbound network traffic and server crashes.
Read the full patch notes here.
Sat, Apr 18, 2020
On announcing VALORANT, devs from Riot Games touted a robust system to prevent the rampant cheating seen in other FPS games.
With the wider release of the VALORANT Closed Beta, players and the media began to question how the anti-cheat system works and why it runs in kernel-mode in
To address the calls for more information, Riot provided details in a recent blog post. Members of the Riot Security and Privacy teams did a deep dive into technical aspects of its anti-cheat system, Vanguard.
Riot described it’s philosophy around security and privacy, with the ultimate goal of ensuring competitive integrity. Cheaters in other games have gone to great lengths, running high privilege level cheats that access memory directly.
To battle these efforts, Vanguard has to run in kernel-mode to validate the integrity of the system and prevent high privilege level cheats from being effective.
Riot’s Security and Privacy teams state, “we wouldn’t work here if we didn’t deeply care about player trust and privacy and believe that Riot feels the same way.”
No one wants their game experience ruined by cheaters, but gamers also want to ensure their privacy and system security are maintained. Riot’s transparency and detailed technical explanation, again, reinforces the strength of their communication when it comes to addressing the concerns of the VALORANT community.
Read the full blog post here.
Wed, Apr 15, 2020
Famed Quake champion Johnathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendel has been dabbling in VALORANT this week. Fatal1ty is a 90s competitive gaming / eSports legend. The professional gamer before professional gaming existed.
Fatal1ty started by adjusting all of his settings live on stream as he first started trying the game out. Watch Fatal1ty go through his process of adjusting sensitivity and other in game features on Twitch. He then walks us through his process for learning new maps, “I just go left hard every time. Pushing very hard left and learning where the choke points are.” His initial comments about the game compare it to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. “A lighter CS:GO with abilities.” Describing the abilities as interesting, but likes that the gun play is still the hero of the game and that the abilities are not the main focus.
Check out Fatal1ty on Twitch for more VALORANT game play.
Sun, Apr 12, 2020
Having all the trappings of a potentially huge esport title, VALORANT has spurred major esport orgs into a flurry of player signings. Pros that have proved themselves in adjacent FPS games like: CS:GO, Overwatch, Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege are at the top of the list.
T1 (known for their top tier League of Legends team in the Korean pro league, LCK, and home of LoL esports star Faker) were one of the first to make a move. In early March, T1 snagged NA CS:GO pro Braxton "Brax" Paulson (formerly known as ‘swag’), shortly after he announced his retirement from the professional Counter Strike scene.
On April 7th, T1 revealed it had signed former CS:GO pro Keven "AZK" Larivière to it’s VALORANT roster. Brax and AZK were former teammates, so T1 is counting on their synergy to translate to the new game.
AZK and Brax join former T1 Apex Legends Pro Kurtis ‘Kurt’ Gallo on T1’s quickly forming roster.
Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) wasted no time in re-signing their former Paladins roster to their new VALORANT team.
NiP’s April 8th Twitter announcement was accompanied by a video celebrating the team’s accomplishment as last year’s Paladins World Champions.
Their roster consists of: Malkolm “bonkar” Rench, Dylan "DiGeDoG" Chainski, Leander “isbittenner” Aspestrand, and Aleks "Alex" Suchev. Erik “Bird” Sjösten is joining the team as a head coach, meaning the team is still seeking a 5th player for its roster.
The team’s competitive success instantly makes them one to watch.
See the full NiP press release here: https://nip.gl/blogs/news/paladins-team-returns-in-valorant
Cloud9’s April 12th announcement heralded their entry to VALORANT with Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo transferring from their CS:GO team.
It’s certain to be an exciting time as teams continue adding FPS players to their rosters in the build up to the seemingly inevitable beginning of VALORANT esports events.
Sat, Apr 11, 2020
Before VALORANT, I never had the desire to watch Twitch on the go. This morning I woke up, installed the Twitch app on Android and started watching fatal1ty play some VALORANT only to have the chat take up one quarter of my screen in landscape mode. I checked every setting, I tried swiping every direction, and I tried tapping every single thing on the screen before resigning myself to having to have to deal with the chat stream forever. It wasn't until I got an email notification and I doubled tapped the video to exit full screen mode and the chat screen went away! OK boomer?
Hide Twitch chat on mobile:
- Double tap the video
- Enjoy full screen Twitch video
Lo and behold, it really is that easy.
Wed, Apr 8, 2020
The Riot development team went up against a team of the closed beta streamers. Check out the cast by Goldenboy and Rivington. Streamers featured are summit1g, shroud, fl0m, Skadoodle, and dizzy.
Wed, Apr 8, 2020
The VALORANT team has enabled drops to allow new players to try the game out, but they will take it slow to avoid more problems going forward. They tweeted that invites were going out again this morning, and followed up with a blog post detailing future plans.
Important points from the blog post:
- Invites are going out again, but the pace may be slower than yesterday.
- They stressed they will not compromise the experience by overcrowding servers.
- Once you have watched ~2 hours of streams, you are eligible for an invite.
- They peaked at 1.7m viewers on twitch, which means if they invite 100,000, only 5% of those watching will get invites.
- Invite selection is random, but slightly weighted for the more hours watched.
- You do not need to be on Twitch the very moment you get a drop.
Read the full blog post at playvalorant »
Tue, Apr 7, 2020