Mon, Jun 1, 2020
Mon, Jun 1, 2020
The new game mode's name was announced on ESPN Esports va Joe Ziegler (@riotziegler). Spike Rush.
What we know, per Ziegler, is that it is similar to the core game place of VALORANT but a much shorter game length. It is designed to be quick fun and something you can play in about 10 minutes. It is meant to be a fun experience for inbetween games, or a quick warmup, or cool down / cool off.
From the v1 patch notes: "Spike Rush (beta) also arrives to deliver a fresh and more hectic flavor of VALORANT."
Spike Rush game icon pictured above leaked by famed data miner @floxay.
Mon, Jun 1, 2020
VALORANT is launching on Tuesday, June 2nd and release times have been revealed for each region:
Korea, Japan, Asia-Pacific: 8AM KST
EU, Turkey, MENA, Russia & CIS: 7AM CEST
NA, LATAM & South America: 5AM PDT / 8AM EDT
The image accompanying the post on social media appears to be the opening frame from a short film / trailer. In addition to the text reading, “Episode 01: Ignition”. There’s also smaller text below the title that reads “Ascent // Italy” under the title.
This suggests that there are seasons in VALORANT, called “Episodes, and the first season is known as Ignition. Maybe we’ll get a bit more information about the Agent’s backstories in this opening trailer.
The image and text also suggest the new map could be based around an Italian theme. The trailer that accompanied the launch date reveal, showed Jett jumping over a canal with gondolas. That scene looked exactly like Venice, Italy. Maybe the new map will be based in Venice? Either way we can’t wait to play VALORANT during the official launch!
Read our overview of what’s to expect at launch »
Sat, May 30, 2020
After days of teases, Riot Games surprised fans by dropping the reveal trailer for the 11th Agent, Reyna.
While no info is given about her backstory, text accompanying the video states she originates from Mexico. It appears one of her abilities allows her to “take the heart” of opponents she kills to increase her HP. Interestingly this healing can cause her to become “Overhealed” as noted by a notification that appears during gameplay.
Alongside an ability that seems to function as a flash, Reyna also appears to have the ability to create something called a Combat Stim. Whether that bolsters the strength of her attack or provides defensive shielding can’t be determined from the gameplay released. A huge factor in Reyna’s gameplay, her Ultimate ability also remains unknown.
In FPS games, any character that has a healing / HP advantage will draw increased attention.
VALORANT Game Director Joe Ziegler noted, prior to the reveal, that the new agent would evoke strong feelings from players.
You’ll be able to play as Reyna and all of the other Agents on launch day, Tuesday, June 2nd.
What do you think of Reyna and what do you think her Ultimate will be? Let us know in the comments.
Learn more about the VALORANT launch date, with our overview »
Fri, May 29, 2020
Get a first look at the new Agent!
In a promo video posted by the VALORANT Brazil Twitter account, we get our first look at what the finalized new Agent looks like.
What a teaser! We can’t wait to play as her during the game’s launch on Tuesday, June 2nd!
What do you think her abilities and ultimate will be? Let us know your guesses in the comments.
Find out more about the game’s launch here»
Tue, May 26, 2020
The VALORANT team has confirmed that the Closed Beta ends at 9AM PDT on Thursday May 28 for all regions. To get in the last possible game, be sure to start it at or before 8:59AM PDT. At 10:30am PDT all servers will go offline until the game launches on Tuesday, June 2nd.
Riot provided additional info with an FAQ about what to expect over the next few days.
The game will launch in most regions of the world including Oceania, but it won’t be available in Vietnam, India, or the Middle East just yet.
Closed Beta drops have ended, though people who were eligible will have a special Twitch / VALORANT player card in their inventory at launch on June 2nd.
All progression will be reset, but anything earned in the Closed Beta player pass (including the exclusive gun buddy) are yours to keep.
Store purchases won’t carry over but your VALORANT points will with a 20% bonus. If you spent the points or not, they will be returned to you at launch.
Get the full details on what to expect at launch »
Thu, May 21, 2020
Game Director Joe Ziegler and Executive Producer Anna Donlon surprised fans with a video announcement. They revealed that the game would not be launching in a few months, but in a few weeks! Tuesday, June 2nd, to be exact.
While exactly how the global rollout will proceed has not been revealed, this is great news for fans not able to make it into the closed beta.
With server stability, anti-cheat, ranked, and other systems being fine-tuned, is Riot Games ready for launch?
The VALORANT team addressed all of these issues in a blog post.
On Vanguard, the anti-cheat system, the team mentioned that it’s still a work in progress. At launch a new auto-ban system will be deployed that can aggressively remove waves of cheaters as they are detected.
On addressing player behavior, an automated report system will help the team widely enforce a policy that discourages player harassment. 72-hour voice and chat restrictions will be doled out to those found in violation of the policy
On servers, the team is working with ISPs globally to improve routing to the best servers. In the short-term new gamer server deployment will happen in Warsaw, Madrid, London, Atlanta, and Dallas. The team is also looking to address latency issues in Colombia, Argentina, and Eastern Europe.
On regions at launch, the game will not yet be available in Vietnam. Players in India and the Middle East will be routed to SEA and European servers respectively until servers can be built out in those areas.
On the game itself, the team says they will continue to take note of bugs and balance issues to maintain competitive integrity. We can also expect new agents, new maps, new skins, and new ways to compete. Having an alternative game mode by launch or a few weeks after is on their to-do-list.
We’ll keep you updated on further announcements as the launch date draws closer.
Read the full blog post from the VALORANT team »
Tue, May 19, 2020
Phillip Koskinas, anti-cheat engineer at Riot Games, tweeted today that an additional 1600 accounts were banned yesterday for cheating. Add on the 8800 banned last week, it is amazing that nearly 10,000 accounts have been banned on a game in closed beta!
Thu, May 14, 2020
Braxton “Brax” Pierce, formerly known as Swag, was one of the first pros to announce he would be retiring from CS to play VALORANT.
A talented Rifler and AWPer in CS:GO, Brax was well known from his stint playing with NA teams compLexity Gaming and iBUYPOWER from 2013 to 2015. After a match fixing incident in 2015 he was permanently banned from Valve events. Brax later played with a number of NA teams, and was a major part of team Swole Patrol in 2017, 2019, and 2020.
On February 27th, Brax announced he was retiring from CS to play Project A (the working title for VALORANT).
This move surprised many, as Brax was playing with a known NA team. And he was moving to a game that’s name was not known nor had been released in closed beta.
On March 9th, just 7 days after the official announcement of VALORANT, esports organization T1 made waves being the first top tier org to sign a player to a VALORANT team. T1, known for their dominance in the Korean professional League of Legends scene and being the home of LoL superstar Faker, jumped in early to scoop up talent.
Maining Agents Cypher, Omen, Phoenix, and Raze fits Brax’s aggressive playstyle. He frequently tops the leaderboard in-game with an impressive KDA.
Taking the nascent VALORANT esports scene by storm, Brax has been a part of teams winning early competitions including the: 100 Thieves Invitational, T1 Invitational, and Code Green Invitational (by Boom TV). He also racked up 2nd place finishes in the ESPN Esports Invitational and the recent T1 x NSG Invitational.
Brax’s redemption arc has been remarkable. His ability to rise above obstacles and perform exceptionally well in the early days of VALORANT, shows a bright path ahead.
Check out our ongoing series about CS pros making the move to VALORANT »
Thu, May 14, 2020
Over the past 2 months, a number of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive pros have announced their departure to VALORANT. The pace of announcements has rapidly accelerated over the past 3 weeks.
Particularly affected are CS:GO players from North American teams. Struggling to find sponsors or an org to sign them, many NA players feel now is the best time to transition to a new game. Talk of esports orgs offering big contracts and Riot Games’ reputation with League of Legends are factors contributing to player decisions.
We’ll tell the stories of those making the move in a multi-part series.
All parts of the series will be linked to from this introduction. Bookmark this page to follow along, as we get to know these players better.
Part 1 - Brax »
Who will be next to make the switch? Time will tell. As the game nears its release this summer, more are sure to follow.
Read our in-depth analysis of what draws esports pros and streamers from many different games to VALORANT »
Tue, May 12, 2020
Riot Games took servers offline in all regions for the roll out of a major patch, Patch 0.50.
This patch includes a huge number of changes including: tweaks to the Creds cap & ability costs, balance updates for Agents & weapons, & fixes for FPS drops when shooting.
One of the biggest changes involves weapon accuracy while moving. The removal of being in the “walking accuracy” state when transitioning from a run to a stop, means it’ll be harder to “strafe and shoot”, as intended.
In addition, the deadzone accuracy speed threshold has been slightly increased from 25% to 30%. The “deadzone” is the point an Agent is considered to no longer be moving, therefore fully accurate. Since it’s considered to be a zone, you don’t have to be literally completely still to be fully accurate. With the slight increase in the size of the zone, you’ll be able to go from running accuracy to full accuracy a bit quicker when letting go of a movement key or counter strafe.
VALORANT Game Director, Joe Ziegler, gave insight into some of the changes made.
A major change to the economy is the reduction of the total credit (cred) cap from 12,000 to 9,000. This makes eco rounds much more important and will make comebacks possible against teams/players with a rich economy.
Additionally the credit (cred) cost of several Agent’s abilities were increased. Sage, Raze, Phoenix, and Brimstone had some ability costs increase, while Jett’s Updraft was reduced in credit cost.
Rifles got an update to make single-tap and burst fire more efficient. Tap, Burst, and Spray shooting styles will all be possible due to a slight improvement in “Gun Recovery Time”.
Maps Split, Haven, and Bind all received updates. Split received changes to allow attackers to better contest A Main, Mid Top, and B Tower.
To counter some exploits with Omen on Haven, a new system has been activated.
Sage, Cypher, Omen, Brimstone, Phoenix, and Viper all received balance updates.
Sage’s Slow Orb was nerfed.
Cypher received nerfs to his Cyber Cage (no longer slows enemies moving through it) and his Spy Camera (cooldown when destroyed increased). Fixes for several exploits with Cypher’s Spy Camera on all 3 maps were also deployed.
Viper received a buff with her Snake Bite radius increased.
Brimstone, Phoenix, and Viper all received a buff for their Incendiary, Hot Hands (Fireball), and Snake Bite abilities respectively to prevent bunny hoppers from taking no damage when inside the radius of the ability.
A nice QoL update finally allows toggling between walking & running! No more holding down that shift key with your pinky finger.
Read the full patch notes from Riot Games »
Sun, May 10, 2020
I was lucky enough to get an invite to the VALORANT closed beta, but after playing through the training map and my first game, my ping was averaging in the 200s.
I asked the people I was playing with where they were from, lo and behold, they were all in Brazil. I also noticed that my payment options were in the wrong currency. There seems to be a moderately common issue of being put into the wrong region. I am located in the Central U.S. I immediately looked into changing my region in VALORANT, but could not find the option anywhere.
Good news/bad news there. The good news is, that it can be changed. The bad news: it can only be changed by Riot through a support ticket. Based on Twitter and Reddit reports, it could take a little while for Riot to respond to support tickets.
First, check out what region your account is bound to at account.riotgames.com. To update this, you must create a support ticket with Riot. Submit a request with Riot here
While you are waiting for Riot to make the change, you can queue with a party in your region and play on local servers that way. Having trouble finding your friends from a different region? Try to download and install League of Legends and make friends through the LoL client.
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 8, 2020
On Tuesday, May 5th, Phase 2 of the VALORANT Closed Beta began with rollout to the new regions. Data Centers went online in: Seoul, South Korea, Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
VALORANT Executive Producer, Anna Donlon mentioned that the team has had a majority of infrastructure delays in getting their Mexico City, Mexico Data Center online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She mentioned they hope to have that Data Center online at a later date.
Regions such as: Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), Japan, Southeast Asia, and the Greater Middle East are not yet able to join the Closed Beta. Riot’s teams continue work to build out infrastructure in these regions to allow access in the future, but no time frame has been set due to the pandemic.
Localized voiceover work has also been affected by the pandemic, causing mixed language Agent VO to be used for the time, until complete voiceover work in each language can be recorded.
Anna Donlon also noted latency issues have affected areas where the Closed Beta is online due to high internet usage globally and ISP routing issues. Riot Games is working to improve ping by troubleshooting with ISPs and continuing buildout of infrastructure.
The only way to join the Closed Beta is by Drops. Link your Riot account to the streaming platform while watching VALORANT streams on Twitch in LATAM and Brazil or on Twitch or Afreecatv in Korea.
Did you get put into the wrong Closed Beta server region? Here’s our guide on how to get it solved.
Sat, May 2, 2020
Riot levels up the fight against cheaters with account & hardware level bans.
Former Overwatch League pro and streamer, dafran lamtened on Twitter that he was encountering cheaters in ranked.
VALORANT’s anti-cheat lead, Paul ‘arkem’ Chamberlain responded about the changes incoming:
Alongside the account and hardware level bans, ongoing tweaks to Riot’s VANGUARD anti-cheat system will keep cheaters at bay.
As Game Director, Joe Ziegler said, the “BanHammer” is in full-swing now:
Fri, May 1, 2020
On Tuesday, May 5th most of LATAM, South Korea & Brazil join the Closed Beta!
In a Friday Developer Update video, VALORANT Executive Producer, Anna Donlon, revealed the next regions to join the Closed Beta.
While exact times for the roll out to new regions hasn’t been revealed, we’re sure fans are excited nonetheless!
Game Director, Joe Ziegler, also expressed the team’s excitement:
We'll keep you updated on the latest information on the new region roll out as details are revealed!
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.
Fri, May 1, 2020
Min-spec GPU requirements have been increased due to Unreal Engine changes.
Shader Model 4 (SM4) in Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is being depreciated and Shader Model 5 (SM5) is now a requirement.
As a result, VALORANT’s minimum spec GPU requirement has been increased from the Intel HD 3000 to the Intel HD 4000.
Game Director, Joe Ziegler added:
The Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics solution was released back in 2011, as part of the Sandy Bridge line of processors. Found in many laptops introduced around that time, the 32 nm HD 3000 can struggle running modern games like CS:GO, Fortnite, and, of course, VALORANT. At the lowest settings, VALORANT players reported seeing frame rates between 20-30 fps.
Launched in 2012, the Intel HD 4000 gives a bit of a boost as it’s a part of the 22 nm Ivy Bridge line of processors. The HD 4000’s architecture allows it to run SM5 at Riot’s promised 30 fps as part of the minimum spec requirements.
While VALORANT will still run on lower spec GPUs, there may be compatibility issues the VALORANT team cannot fix.
VALORANT’s Hardware requirements are now, as follows:
- Minimum Spec - 30 FPS:
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
- GPU: Intel HD 4000
- Recommended Spec - 60 FPS:
- CPU: Intel i3-4150
- GPU: GeForce GT 730
- High-End Spec - 144+ FPS:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz
- GPU: GTX 1050 Ti
- PC Hardware Requirements:
- Windows 7/8/10 64-bit
- 4GB RAM
- 1GB of VRAM
Fri, May 1, 2020
After a successful EU roll out of the hotfix, Ranked is now live in EU & NA!
The VALORANT hotfix patch brought stability to servers, addressing a number of service issues and bugs. This allowed Riot Games developers to feel confident in rolling out ranked in NA first, then EU in the early morning hours of May 1st.
Looking for Ranked mode? Click the “Play” button at the top of the screen. Then click the “Competitive” tab that appears below.
Remember, to play Ranked matches you must meet the following requirements:
- Complete 20 Unrated matches to unlock Competitive mode
- Queue with up to 5-player parties, but must be within 2 ranks
The eight levels of rank, each divided into three tiers are: Iron, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Immortal, and the highest rank — VALORANT.
For a complete run through of Competitive mode, check out our review of the initial reveal, here.
Thu, Apr 30, 2020
The wait is officially over! Ranked mode rolled out today for NA players at approximately 3:30pm PDT!
If all goes well, Ranked will go live for EU after the hotfix after 9:30am CEST on Friday, May 1.
If there are problems, Riot may disable ranked at any time.
It’s an exciting time for all Closed Beta VALORANT players!
VALORANT Game Director, Joe Ziegler cautioned:
VALORANT Executive Producer, Anna Donlon added:
Wed, Apr 29, 2020
A Hotfix patch is incoming to correct exploits, fix 2 bugs & to bring back the headshot sound, according to a late night post from VALORANT’s Twitter account on April 29th.
The Hotfix will roll out as follows:
- NA: Thursday, April 30 at 4:30am PT. Servers back at 12pm PT
- EU: Friday, May 1 at 3:30am CEST. Servers back at 9:30am CEST
If all goes well, the VALORANT team might activate ranked mode after the hotfix!
We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments here at VALORANT Haven.
UPDATE (April 30 - 12pm CDT): NA Server maintanance is taking a bit longer than expected. The VALORANT team now expects NA servers to go back online around 12pm PDT.
Wed, Apr 29, 2020
While Patch 0.49 did roll out, unexpected service issues & bugs prevented Riot from activating Rated mode. An ETA hasn’t been announced, but they did state they “will let you know tomorrow.”
Executive Producer, Anna Donlon noted earlier in the day on April 29th (as EU servers were coming back online):
Stability issues continued as NA servers were updated with the new patch. At 12PM PDT as NA servers were coming back online, the VALORANT Twitter account announced that Ranked would not be activated at this time:
VALORANT Game Director, Joe Ziegler added:
While fans waiting to jump into ranked will be disappointed, it’s best to wait until servers are stable.
The sheer number of fixes in Patch 0.49, as well as the VALORANT team working remotely, means we should all give them additional time to get things working. The VALORANT team has been great about being transparent throughout the Closed Beta, and this is no exception.
While there’s no ETA for Rated mode’s launch yet, we’d presume it’s all hands on deck for VALORANT’s engineers as they work through fixes to have it running soon.
Wed, Apr 29, 2020
EU and NA servers went down today for the rollout of Patch 0.49, including: the launch of Ranked in “Rated” mode, a number of bug fixes, & QoL updates.
EU matchmaking & servers went down at 3:30AM CEST on April 29th, and came back up around 9AM CEST.
NA matchmaking & servers went down at 4:30AM PDT and will come back up at 10AM PDT.
A ton of changes and fixes are featured in patch 0.49 including:
- The addition of Rated mode
- Bug fixes for several Agent’s abilities like Phoenix’s Run it Back, Cypher’s Cyber Cage, & Viper’s Viper’s Pit,
- Fixes to the Spike getting stuck in the map
- Observer mode polishing
- HUD, UI, Menu, and Game Client updates
- Quality of Life updates:
- Audio occlusion system updates to help differentiate audio distancing queues
- Penalties for leavers of matchmade games or dodging agent selects, with increasing queue time penalties for frequent offenses.
Check out the full patch notes from Riot, 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
Riot Games has opened up API applications to VALORANT. You can submit your request at developer.riotgames.com. No documentation or official features have been announced yet, but Riot Gene has been actively promoting the features on Twitter and Reddit.
We hope to provide robust APIs for VALORANT similar to the the LoL/TFT/LoR APIs where people will be able pull data in the future.
This is nothing but good news for players, streamers, pros, and fans. With Riot's commitment to robust statistic APIs, it is exciting to think about what the community will come up with. Following kill/death ratio per character, win rate by map, round, agent, accuracy, headshot accuracy, play time -- The options are virtually endless.
We have enabled submissions for @PlayVALORANT products on http://developer.riotgames.com.
If you are interested in developing for VALORANT, please submit your ideas/products and I'll get back to you.
We at VALORANT Haven will be keeping a close eye on this. We have applied to get access to the API and plan to take full advantage of it as soon as we possibly can.
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.
Wed, Apr 15, 2020
Riot released a series of Desktop and Mobile wallpapers for VALORANT fans!
Some fans may not know about their availability as they were posted on the VALORANT Brasil Facebook page.
They’re a great way to spruce up your desktop or phone and offer great closeups of some of the VALORANT Agents.
Download them from Riot Brasil’s imgur galleries:
VALORANT Desktop Wallpapers VALORANT Mobile/Phone Wallpapers
Mon, Apr 13, 2020
Omen is an offensive agent that is designed to daze and confuse enemies on the battlefield.
Shrouded Step = Omen channels his hands for about 1.5 seconds and teleports you a short distance. Besides the delay, there is also a slight audio cue. Can be used to teleport across a room or on top of objects for better positioning.
Ability gives Omen some quiet mobility and positioning. It isn't perfect since enemies can still hear you channel the ability. This is NOT an ability to use during a fight since you will be completely vulnerable during the channeling.
Paranoia = Omen shoots a shadow in a straight line. This shadow penetrates walls and will nearsight any enemies it passes through. Enemies won't be able to see more than a few feet in front of them for a period of time. The shadow has range to go through a few rooms.
Useful to use in common camping spots before storming a site/room. Affected enemies will show a cloud in front of their face. As long as you are positioned a distance away, the enemy agent should not be able to see you.
Signature Ability: Dark Cover = Omen fires an ethereal orb that bursts into a shadow sphere in the location you set. How far the orb goes will depend on how long you charge the ability. At full charge you can almost unleash dark cover from one side of the map to the other. This allows you to create cover for your team even if you are very far away.
Great ability overall but the true advantage is the distance you are able to cast this from. Many agents have a vision obscuring ability but very few have one that can be used across the map. There is a delay for the shadow orb to get to the location you set. So if you do send it across the map, it will take a few seconds.
Ultimate - From the shadows = Omen brings up a map where he can choose and select where to teleport to. While arriving, Omen will appear as a ghost that enemies can kill which will cancel the teleportation. There is an audio cue when this ability is used and the map in the top left corner disorientates a bit so all agents are aware that Omen just teleported to another location on the map
A very strong ability but you must only teleport to a location that is deemed as safe. Not only can enemy agents shoot your ghost before you materialize, they could actually just wait for you to appear before taking you out.
Besides Jett, Omen has the best mobility abilities in the game. They are hard to execute at times and if you don't use your abilities correctly, you will probably die. Utilize your dark cover to help teammates that are farther away and jump in and out of battle to make your enemies paranoid of your current location.
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
VALORANT devs took swift action against account sellers and cheaters during the first week of the Closed Beta.
On April 8th (only 1 day after the Closed Beta began), account bans were issued for those flouting the Riot Games TOS.
We've banned a pile of VALORANT closed beta account sellers and botters to free up more entitlements. Tracking more. Don't buy accounts, you might lose them!
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) April 9, 2020
VALORANT Executive Producer Anna Donlon added in a Quote Tweet:
We’re committed to this. Please don’t buy accounts. https://t.co/h3JhKMVcDB
— Anna Donlon (@RiotSuperCakes) April 9, 2020
On April 9th, VALORANT anti-cheat lead Paul ‘arkem’ Chamberlain, noted they had banned their first confirmed cheater in the game:
Well it sucks, but today we had to ban our first cheater (and it looks like more bans are on the horizon).
— Paul Chamberlain (@arkem) April 9, 2020
I was hoping for a little more time before this fight kicked off but we're in it now and we're ready.
Riot’s transparency into these bans is refreshing, and reaffirms their commitment to keeping the game experience great for everyone. It also puts on notice anyone considering buying or selling a Closed Beta account or cheating altogether.
Just don’t do it.
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.
Fri, Apr 10, 2020
Sage is the only true support agent. All her skills either provide utility or heal/revive.
Barrier orb = Sage summons a large solid wall. You can rotate the wall and determine how far you want the wall to be. Wall lasts around 30 seconds and takes over one clip to destroy.
This OP ability is a game changer. Very useful to wall off a choke point or to block an enemy team from advancing. It can also tank a considerable amount of damage before being destroyed and can be placed at awkward angles to your benefit. Agents such as Jett or Omen can get around or on top of the barrier. It can also be used to help you or your team get onto higher platforms you weren't able to reach previously.
Slow Orb = Sage throws a projectile that has the trajectory of a grenade that expands upon impact into an AOE that slows and places shades of glass like on the floor. Any enemy or ally that steps in the area will be slowed and their movements will be obvious due to the audio cues.
Useful to deploy against rushing enemies from a certain direction or when protecting a spike. Sounds that agents make when walking on the orb is quite loud so you will know when a threat is nearby.
Signature Ability: Healing orb = Sage uses an orb to heal a damaged ally or self heal. Primary fire will heal an ally while secondary fire will self heal. The healing is over time but fairly quick. The cooldown for this ability is 35 seconds so it is possible to use this ability multiple times in the same round.
Ability is self explanatory...heal your ally or heal yourself with a 35 second cooldown.
Ultimate - Resurrection = Targets a friendly corpse within 3-4 steps away and resurrect them with full health. There is a short delay so be sure only to use this under cover or from a safe area.
Extremely useful ability to bring back a fellow agent that has died during the round. Must be used carefully as you are a sitting duck as you are using this ability.
Sage offers your team an utility/healer agent. A must have for any party and one of the better back line support agents.
Fri, Apr 10, 2020
Brimstone is an all around offensive agent. He has aggressive abilities and utility abilities making her a perfect front line agent leading the assault.
Stim Beacon= Brimstone lobs a beacon that has an AOE effect that increases fire rate, reload rate, weapon swap rate, and recoil spread recovery for your whole team by 10%. This effect lasts 4 seconds after you leave the beacon AOE.
This ability should be placed at a tactical point where you and your team can safely fire without risk of too much retaliation. Another way to use the beacon is before a team fight. The effect lasts 4 seconds after you lave the AOE so use that 4 seconds to your advantage. The buff is only 10 seconds but the extra few bullets you can get out during that time might change the round.
Incindiary = Brimstone takes his grenade launder that creates an AOE field of fire on the ground upon impact. Fairly standard grenade ability. Can bounce of walls to land behind objects and other strategic points. Does not have a timer or fuse.
Ability is used to re-position enemies from a specific location such as a perch or window. Good for both offensive and defensive situations.
Signature Ability: Skysmoke = Brimstone brings out a smoke controller map that calls in orbital deployment smoke screens that obscure vision in a certain area. You are able to launch up to 3 simultaneous smokes. The map is based on your current location so there is a limit to how far out you can place the skysmokes. Once locations are set, confirm to launch. Within a second the areas you selected will be covered in smoke
Fantastic control ability. It will allow you to assault a point on offense to plant the spike under the cover of smoke or it can be used on defense to force the other team to walk through your smokes to get to the point. Very strong ability.
Ultimate - Orbital strike = Brimstone brings out an orbital strike map similar to skysmoke. Use your map to target where you want the strike to be. Once it is confirmed, the location you selected will be hit with a large AOE laser. The closer you are to the center, the more damage you take. There is an animation on the ground and a charge up time for the laser so enemies can get out without taking damage if they are quick to react.
Orbital strike is an excellent ability to use on offence or defense. If you hear a team diffusing a spike, you can use it right on the spike to destroy all agents in that area. If you want to clear a site for your team to rush, you can use that in a specific location just to make sure there are no lingering enemies in that area. It is not an instant kill ability but more of a control ability.
Brimstone is a good front liner and a good utility agent. His abilities are all fairly useful and he can provide support without being in the area. His most useful skill is skysmoke so use that wisely.
Fri, Apr 10, 2020
Cypher is a support/surveillance agent whose sole purpose is to monitor the other team.
Tripwire (Free ability) = Allows Cypher to place 2 trip wires that will act as booby traps. Enemies that trigger the trap are held in place and revealed for a short period of time. If the enemy doesn't destroy the trap immediately, they will also be dazed. Traps can be destroyed and picked up and moved. If you are close to a trap you can see and hear the trap.
This ability should be placed at mid torso level to prevent enemies from ducking under or jumping above. If the enemy team wants to pass, make them either trip the trap or destroy the trap. It is useful to set these traps as quickly as possible. If you realize the enemy team is going elsewhere, pick up the traps and move them to a more useful location.
Cyber Cage = Cypher throws down an activation trap. This creates a cage of smoke that slows enemies that pass through it. This also obscures vision completely. Trap can be set off from anywhere on the map as long as you are looking in its direction. You have max 2 cages. You can hit use button to detonate trap you are looking at or hold activate to detonate all cages.
Ability is used to obscure vision and to slow down enemies. Can be used along with tripwire to slow down enemy rushes or to conceal your own team's movements.
Signature Ability: Spycam = Cyper setups a spycam that can be placed on walls and objects. This camera can be activated and armed which allows you to see through the camera, control its field of view, and shoot a tracking dart. Any enemy hit with a tracking dart will be revealed until they hit the use button to remove the dart. Upon activation, the camera will make a sound and become visible to enemies. Spycam will reset upon picked up or destroyed.
Another great surveillance ability to keep track of enemy teams at strategic areas. Try to place in an area that is hard for the enemy to see for maximum value. In conjunction with all of other Cypher abilities, he is able to monitor the general location of the enemy team.
Ultimate - Neural Theft = Cypher reaches into the mind of a nearby corpse and extracts the exact location of all living enemy team members. This allows for a "wall hack ability". There is an audio cue once this ability is used. The enemy team will know their position is compromised and will likely preposition.
Ability should be used when you want to get an idea of where the enemy team is located. Be careful not to be lured into a trap. The enemy team will be notified once you use this ability and may use that to their advantage. Can be used offensively or defensively.
An agent spy with some ability to obscure vision using cyber cage. Great overall support agent that provides the team with enemy location information. All else being equal, knowing there potential enemies are can easily change the tide of a round.
Fri, Apr 10, 2020
Sova is a hunter/executioner style agent that relies on knowledge and precision to eliminate enemies. An anti-camper agent at his core.
Shockbolt = Sova aims his crossbow and shoots an arrow that unleashes a damaging pulse upon impact that damages nearby enemies. Holding fire extends the range of the arrow and alt fire allows the arrow to bounce twice. The AOE of the explosion is not very large so it is best to weed out enemies around corners or behind structures.
This ability should be used primarily to attack enemies where you know there position as well as to force them to re-position. The ability to bounce off walls in conjunction with your other abilities can help you climate enemies around corners or around multiple corners more efficiently.
Owl drone = Equips and releases a drone. This drone moves and aims just like your agent would. While in control of the drone, you are a sitting duck so be sure to use this ability in a safe space. Drone is able to fire a dart at an enemy. If an enemy is hit, their location will be revealed for the remainder of the match. Drone can be shot at and destroyed
Use this ability to not only scout but to permanently reveal an enemy if you are able to hit them with the tracking dart. It is also a strong decoy. Your allies can trail your drone and eliminate any enemies that are hit by the drone or if the drone is destroyed.
Recon Bolt = Sova aims his crossbow and shoots an arrow that will pulsate three times over 3 seconds revealing any enemy within its line of sight. Holding fire extends the range of the arrow and alt fire allows the arrow to bounce twice. The AOE of the pulsations is quite large so it can reveal many enemies in a large area but only if the pulse has line of sight.
Use this ability as a brief wallhack ability. Again, it will not reveal enemies that are hidden behind objects that are not in the line of sight of the arrow. Useful to aim for back walls to let pulses spread through a given area. . Keep in mind that this arrow can be destroyed. Getting all pulses out may be difficult to do against skilled players.
Ultimate - Hunter's Fury = Equips 3 wall piercing energy arrow that penetrates and goes through walls. You have limited time to fire the arrows before the ultimate runs out. Will need to fire in quick succession in order to use all 3. Range is very long and can usually cover any straight path throughout a map. There is a bit of a delay for arrow to get to other side of the map
It is a great ability along with recon bolt or drone. Also good to use blindly if your team is rushing into a bombsite and you want to clear out the most common camp spots.
A control player at heart. He does have some offensive capability but his abilities are most important to provide knowledge for your team. None of his abilities obscure vision so against skilled competition, he may be limited unless he has team support. In the right hands, Sova can be a one man assassin.