Riot Games has announced some big changes to matchmaking in Valorant’s ranked mode, which will be implemented in Act 3.
In a developer update video, competitive design lead David Cole outlined the two main changes Riot will be making next Act in an attempt to make the climb up the Valorant ranks less frustrating for players, particularly those at the higher end of the ranked ladder. The first change, which Cole says will help with “competitive integrity in the queue,” is a tightening of the restrictions on rank disparity in matchmaking. In simple terms, you will only now play opposition players that are within three tiers of your current rank, rather than the six tier disparity that currently exists. This means that, for example, a Diamond 3 player will match with players between Platinum 3 and Immortal 3.
The second change is something that should help connection issues in ranked Valorant, and that’s a server preference tool. While it won’t guarantee you’ll be placed in one of your preferred regional servers, you will be able to pick a selection of your favourites that will be prioritised when trying to match you with an opponent.
That’s what’s coming up in Act 3, but more frequently requested additions from Valorant’s top ranked players are also in the pipeline for the start of 2021.
According to Cole, “public, region-based leaderboards” are in the works. The screenshot in the video shows this to be a ‘Top 500’ leaderboard for Radiant-ranked players, which means the top players in each region will be able to compete against each other within the highest Valorant rank.
Another change slated for 2021 involves matchmaking for players ranked Immortal or higher. Queuing with a full squad of friends will not be possible at this level, as Cole says you will be restricted to either solo or duo queues from Immortal onwards. This again stops five-mans stomping those trying to solo climb their way up the ranks.
The 2021 changes should be dropping with Episode 2 early next year.
While Valorant’s esports scene has flourished and the gameplay has proven to be a decent competitive experience, the actual systems behind ranked have proven to be frustrating for highly skilled players. These changes are super positive steps towards making a much fairer – and less annoying – experience in ranked mode.