Riot reassures Valorant ranked players following five-stack announcement

Viper and Cypher protect Raze as she plants the Spike

Yesterday Riot Games confirmed that the hugely-demanded ability to group up as a five-stack with players of any rank is finally coming to the game’s Competitive queue in Valorant patch 3.10. While the feedback has mostly been positive – with streaming superstar Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys giving a triumphant “LET’S GOOOOOO” on Twitter – there have been some initial concerns. To quell these, and clear up any misunderstandings, senior competitive designer Jon ‘EvrMoar’ Walker has also taken to the platform.

The Valorant ranked changes will now allow players of any rank to queue with each other as part of a five-stack. Now you’ll be able to (slowly) climb the Valorant ranks with your friends, without the higher-elo players in your party having to resort to smurf accounts to get in on the action. This should theoretically help the matchmaker find more-even games.

Counter Logic Gaming’s Benita ‘bENITA’ Novshadian, among others, initially responded to the announcement with the hopes that five-stacks would only be allowed to queue with other five-stacks. According to EvrMoar, while the system isn’t quite that strict, bENITA’s wish has been granted for five-stacks with players ranked Diamond 3 and above.

Another fear that players have expressed is that five-stacking will more-easily allow for the boosting of players. To help combat higher-elo players abusing the system to make a quick buck, EvrMoar says that ranked rating reductions “are extremely harsh” for stacks including Diamond 3+ players. This should hopefully make five-stack boosting infeasible.

Alongside the five-stack change, Riot has removed the ability to play as a four-stack across the board. This should be a familiar system for those who also play League of Legends’ Flex Queue. This effectively means that players can now only queue as solos, duos, trios (if below Diamond 3), and five-stacks.

With such a major change making its way to the popular competitive FPS game, EvrMoar states that the team “will be monitoring for exploits and how it’s received,” and will be on-hand to make changes as necessary.

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